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Audio: House Of Assembly Emergency Session

During an emergency session held this morning — with social distancing in place — the House of Assembly approved the extension of the State of Emergency until April 18th. The Government had already indicated that it would last until April 18th, however it had to be formally done via Parliament

This Parliamentary session followed after the State of Emergency, the first in some 40 years, which was declared by the Governor on April 1st. The Bermuda Constitution states that after a proclamation of emergency has been made, if the Houses “are not due to meet within five days of the making of that proclamation the Governor shall, by proclamation published in the Gazette, summon them to meet within that period.”

Copy of the Official Proclamation:

Prior to the sitting a Government spokesperson said, “Under Orders of the Day, the Premier of Bermuda, the Hon. David Burt, JP, MP will table the Proclamation of Emergency and move the following motion/resolution for consideration of the House:

Whereas the World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic; And Whereas COVID-19 is an unprecedented and severe threat to public health in Bermuda;

And Whereas a Proclamation of a state of emergency existing in Bermuda has been issued and gazetted by His Excellency the Governor pursuant to section 14[3] of the Constitution;

Be It Resolved that, pursuant to section 14[6] of the Constitution, this Honourable House approves the extension of the continuance of the said Proclamation of Emergency to 18th April 2020.”

“The Premier will make a few brief remarks, followed by the Opposition Leader only. The Premier will ask for a suitable message to be sent to HE, per section 18 [2] of the Emergency Powers [COVID-19 Shelter in Place] Regulations 2020. Afterwards, the Speaker will put the motion to the House which would be agreed by a voice vote.”