Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Bermuda escalate movement restrictions and maintain 24-hour shelter in place order through April 18 due to COVID-19.

This alert affects Bermuda

This alert began 08 Apr 2020 14:57 GMT and is scheduled to expire 18 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Islandwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through April 18
  • Impact: Significant transport and business disruptions, increased police presence

Summary
Authorities in Bermuda have escalated their movement restriction measures as of April 8, forming part of the 24-hour shelter in place order, which first came into effect April 4. The measure is to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and will be imposed through April 18. Food producers and sellers (including farmers, fishermen, and grocery stores), as well as medical facilities, pharmacies, fuel stations, and ports, will continue to operate. Utility companies, emergency services, and critical bank services will also be available. Only one person per household will be allowed outside their homes to make essential purchases, according to their surnames, as follows:

  • Surnames beginning with A-L: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
  • Surnames beginning with M-Z: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays


All movement is restricted on Sundays. The measure is in addition to the closure of LF Wade International Airport (BDA) for all arriving international passenger flights since March 20; authorities have stated that commercial air carriers only intend on resuming regular flights to and from Bermuda from May 1. Cargo jet arrivals will be restricted to three days per week. Cargo operations at Hamilton Dock are continuing as normal.

The measures in place will significantly impact business and transport in the country, with larger than usual police presence in the streets. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the government of Bermuda are similar to actions taken by other governments globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. The WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic March 11.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int

Government of Bermuda - COVID-19: www.gov.bm/coronavirus