The Bermuda government has reintroduced a curfew after the island recorded 86 new COVID-19 cases during a six-day period.
Premier David Burt told the House of Assembly that the curfew would be from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. (local time) from Saturday until at least December 22.
He told legislators on Friday that businesses must close at 10 p.m. and the maximum size of gatherings would be reduced to 10.
Gyms must operate at reduced capacity and personal services, such as barbers and spas, cannot provide any services that require a mask to be removed.
Burt said the new wave of infections was being driven by younger people, with more than half of the latest cases under 30 years old.
“I don’t think that we want to get back to that place, and I’m going to put it on the people of this country, who have been through a lot this year, for us not to get back to that place,” he added.
Bermuda has seven clusters of cases of the virus, up from two, but has not moved to community spread.
Health Minister Kim Wilson has also announced care home restrictions because of the spike in cases and that visitors would have to remain outside care homes “unless deemed essential”.
Visitors will have to talk to care home residents through a window or door.
She said that 27 new cases of the virus had been detected in 1,157 test results that came back to health officials over the past 24 hours and that 13 of the cases were on-island transmissions with known contacts.
Another 14 are under investigation as residents with no travel history or links to known cases. The figures brought the number of active cases to 149. Two people are being treated in hospital – one in critical care.
The Health Minister appealed to the “worried well” not to take up coronavirus test spots needed for more urgent cases as the island recorded 113 new infections over the last seven days. She gave as an example, a husband and wife having booked six tests each.
Burt told Parliament that the restrictions were approved at a Cabinet meeting earlier this week and would be reviewed on December 22.
“The numbers will get worse before they get better. It is, therefore, essential that we implement further actions now to avoid possible harsher actions later,” he said.