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Premier Burt: Stay Home To Help Save Lives

Bermudians are dying and it is important that we all stay home so we can reduce transmission that may exist to save lives, Premier David Burt said as he issued a stark warning to the island due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, which has now claimed over 75,000 lives, including two here in Bermuda.

The Premier’s strongly worded statement came after he announced the island’s first Covid-19 deaths, saying that he is ‘extremely sad to share with the country that we have had two Covid-19 related deaths.’

Speaking at last night’s press briefing, Premier Burt said, “The purpose of these two weeks are for as many persons as possible to stay at home so we can reduce transmission that may exist in the country to save lives.

“And for those persons, who for some reason did not think that that applied to them, the evidence is real today. Bermudians are dying. It is important. Stay home.”

Following a declaration of the State of Emergency — the first in some 40 years — a Shelter in Place policy has been instituted, and with the exception of essential workers, people have been directed to stay home unless they need to make an essential visit to a permitted business such as a pharmacy, gas station or grocery store.

During the press briefing the officials also discussed businesses trying to stay open, and people trying to move around, with the Police Commissioner calling some of the excuses people have to be out “ridiculous,” while Minister Caines said that they will be increasing the amount of soldiers as it “does not appear that a number of people are getting it.”

The Premier said, “The Shelter in Place order started at 6am on Saturday. A minority of the people in the country chose to ignore the rules that were put in place for everyone’s safety, jeopardizing their health and the health of others.

“To those people I say, stop. If you don’t care about yourself, think about your fellow Bermudians who are already hospitalized with this disease. Think about the countries that have seen their health systems overwhelmed from those suffering with the virus. Think about the Bermudian families who have lost loved ones and are grieving tonight.

“Shelter in Place is a sacrifice. A sacrifice that, in the long run, will benefit our country and will save lives.

“To this point two defendants appeared in Plea Court today and were granted bail in the amount of $3,000 and to appear at a later point in time. The simple message here, for those who choose to ignore the Shelter in Place order, we will prosecute.

“Over the weekend there were questions asked about who can go out and when. To be crystal clear, if you are not going to the grocery store, pharmacy, gas station, work for a critical service, or attending for medical treatment, you should be at home and not be on the streets.”