Bermuda extends coronavirus lockdown

The Bermuda government has extended COVID-19 restrictions through the holidays after a surge in coronavirus cases continued to impact the island.

Premier of Bermuda David Burt

The restrictions – including an 11:00 pm to 5:00 am  curfew and orders for bars and restaurants to close at 10:00 pm – were scheduled to end on December 22, but will now continue until January 4, officials announced.

Premier David Burt reintroduced the curfew last week after the island logged 86 new cases of the coronavirus in six days.

Burt told Thursday night’s media briefing that some minor changes to the curfew may be announced next week, but the extension was needed to slow the “frightening“ spike in cases, now numbering 500

He said the measures introduced to slow the spread of infection were working and, although the number of new cases was still high, the figure had started to fall again.

Burt also announced that unemployment benefit payments for those affected by the restrictions will also be extended for a further two weeks.

Finance Minister Curtis Dickinson said earlier that 50 staff at bars, nightclubs and members’ clubs who lost their jobs because of the restrictions should get their benefits from the government this week. He said a further 110 applications for help were still being assessed.