HAMILTON, Bermuda (CMC) — Premier David Burt announced on Sunday night that he has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVD-19) and that Bermuda will return to a shelter-at-home policy from Tuesday morning for at least seven days to help curb a surge in cases.
“It is clear that the rate of spread is far more advanced than believed and the regulations put in place have not been enough to slow it down. We must act now as continued household mixing is leading to increased transmissions.
“I know this is not the news many people wanted to hear. What is important is to remember the importance of staying at home and not mixing households,” said Burt, who has become the fourth Caribbean leader to have tested positive for the virus that has killed millions of people worldwide. The others are the leaders of Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Belize.
He told a news conference after a cabinet meeting that all businesses apart from grocery stores, pharmacies and petrol stations would be closed. Limited banking services would also be permitted. These businesses would be open from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm (local time).
Grocery stores will return to alphabetised days for customers but Burt emphasised that there was no need for panic buying.
Health authorities confirmed that two more people died from COVID-19 over the weekend — when more than 100 new cases of the disease were recorded. The death toll now stands at 16.
Burt said Cabinet would meet again on Tuesday to review other regulations, including border controls and to consider what steps would be taken after the initial seven-day stay-at-home order.