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Curfew Will Be Lifted Effective Monday, July 20th

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“The curfew will be lifted effective next Monday, July 20th with the proviso that all liquor licensed establishments will close at midnight,” Minister of Public Works Lt/Col David Burch said, adding that “this aspect of the new regulations will be reviewed weekly.”

The curfew was first put into effect back in March, when it was originally 8pm – 6am, and it has been adjusted over the recent weeks.

“It is vitally important that in considering our actions going forward that we all must be cognizant and careful to make decisions that do not put our families and fellow citizens at risk regarding the coronavirus,” the Minister added.

“Make no mistake that if we act badly then there will be no hesitation in recommending to the Cabinet that we return to an earlier phase to protect our country.”

Minister Lt/Col David Burch’s full statement follows below:

I am happy to provide a further update on additional changes since the implementation of Phase 4 on Wednesday July 1st. I will first cover those matters that fall under the Covid Regulations followed by those that fall under the remit of the Minister of Public Works.

There has been some confusion surrounding a number of issues during this journey through Covid – so I will attempt to address several of them tonight.

Firstly, consideration will be given to the following changes to the current Public Health [Covid-19 Emergency Powers] Regulations 2020.  The term Exceptional Circumstances is confusing and as we move further into Phase 4, the removal of this part makes it easier to vet applications as per the guidelines being developed. These guidelines along with the standardized application form will lay out what is needed to be considered for an exemption, thus removing the need for this part of the clause to remain.

[4] The Minister of National Security may, after consulting, the Minister of Health, grant an exemption [a “large group exemption”] permitting a group of more than 50 persons to assemble—

There have been a number of requests to hold functions with more than 50 persons and the term “exceptional” has led to confusion from the public and an inability to adequately consider those requests by the committee. I expect we will be in a position to confirm this change, publish the guidelines and launch the online application by next Tuesday – which will provide greater clarity to the general public.

With regard to the current curfew – as indicated last week that it would be reviewed weekly – the curfew will be lifted effective next Monday, July 20th with the proviso that all liquor licensed establishments will close at midnight. This aspect of the new regulations will be reviewed weekly.

Clarification on the wearing of masks:

Masks must be worn indoors. Masks must be worn outdoors if physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Clearly there is a need to apply common sense – if one is driving in a car alone or with members of their household, riding a bike, walking alone – it is not necessary to wear a mask.

Simply put – if you are in close proximity to anyone outside your family – then a mask is required. Many stores and businesses – like government buildings – now require a mask to enter their facility.

With regard to activities over Cup Match – overnight camping in Parks and on Islands will be allowed following the removal of curfew as well as over the Cup Match weekend.

All of the camp sites are being inspected over the next few days and applications for camping permits will be accepted from Monday, July 20th.

Specifically, for Cup Match campers and picnickers will be allowed to erect camping and picnicking equipment and property on Tuesday, 28th July however camping is ONLY permitted from Wednesday 29th July until Monday 3rd August 2020 as per the Public Health [Covid-19 Emergency Powers] Amendment Regulations 2020.

Gates will be opened on Tuesday 28th July 2020 so patrons will have the opportunity to get their equipment and property into the parks and beaches until 9:30pm on Wednesday 29th July 2020 after which time Park Ranger staff on duty will be locking the gates.

All equipment and property must be removed by Tuesday 4th August 2020 or it will be deemed abandoned and disposed of.

Maintenance staff will be collecting trash and cleaning bathrooms during the Cup Match Holiday and weekend.

Park Ranger staff will patrol the parks and beaches, enforcing the Park Regulations and addressing any other incidents in conjunction with the Bermuda Police Service and the Royal Bermuda Regiment.

Staff will be assigned to control traffic flow and parking at the following locations:

  • Horseshoe Bay
  • Warwick Long Bay West
  • Elbow Beach Tribe Road 4B
  • Clearwater Beach Park and Coopers Island Park & Nature Reserve.

Horseshoe Bay, due to the popularity on Emancipation Day Thursday 30th July 2020 will be managed as follows:

  • Department of Parks staff in conjunction with officers of the Bermuda Police Service, Royal Bermuda Regiment and St. Johns Ambulance will be on duty.
  • Traffic flow and parking will be controlled and once the parking lot is full access will be for dropping off only until spaces open up.
  • There may be times when the parking lot is closed to all traffic in order to clear any congestion.
  • Patrons are advised that the closure of Horseshoe Bay will be at 8:00 pm when patrons must start clearing the beach in order for the cleaning to begin for the use on Mary Prince Day Friday 31st July 2020.

Park and beach users are reminded not to park on double yellow lines or block the gates as they must remain clear at all times for access by Department of Parks maintenance & patrol vehicles, as well as emergency vehicles from the Bermuda Police Service, Royal Bermuda Regiment, Bermuda Fire & Rescue Services, EMH and St. John Ambulance.

For safety the following will not be permitted:

  • No Bonfires especially within Coopers Island Nature Reserve
  • No excessively loud music playing
  • No Dogs on the beaches
  • No Horses on the beaches
  • No vehicles inside the parks after the gates are closed
  • Clean up your trash – leave the areas as you find them.

Vehicular traffic to Coney Island Park is restricted due to the structural integrity of the Bailey bridge and patrons must walk in.

The cooperation of the patrons using the parks and beaches over the holiday period is appreciated.

All of these measures are being relaxed because of our good behavior and following of the rules. We are still in a pandemic but we also recognize that we must gradually relax the rules.

It is vitally important that in considering our actions going forward that we all must be cognizant and careful to make decisions that do not put our families and fellow citizens at risk regarding the coronavirus. Make no mistake that if we act badly then there will be no hesitation in recommending to the Cabinet that we return to an earlier phase to protect our country.

I expect we will be as responsible as we have been which has gotten us to our current state of general compliance.

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