Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Bermuda issue a 24-hour shelter in place order from 0600 April 4-April 18. Nonessential business to be suspended.

This alert affects Bermuda

This alert began 02 Apr 2020 08:54 GMT and is scheduled to expire 18 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

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

Summary
Authorities in Bermuda have issued a 24-hour shelter in place order which will take effect at 0600 April 4. The measure is to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and will remain in effect through April 18. Residents will be allowed outside their homes to make essential purchases. 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.

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 the Hamilton Dock are continuing as normal. The government could expand its preventative measures and movement restrictions locally over the coming days and weeks. 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