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A press statement by the Hon. Michael H. Dunkley JP, MP on Covid

By May 11, 2021May 14th, 2021No Comments

It is disappointing that the end of May date promised by the Government for achieving herd immunity or community immunity will not be reached by that time. It is clear that the government has underestimated vaccine hesitancy and the power of social media in the community. While lately they have upped the communications promoting the benefits of the vaccine, and offered mobile clinics to be vaccinated, the uptake pace is still slower than we would like to see. It is likely community immunity will take much longer than the government anticipated.

In light of this fact it is now time for the government to prudently take proactive and safe measures for those vaccinated such as allowing businesses to open inside their establishment for those vaccinated. Many people are struggling due to the pandemic, unable to work, education opportunity stunted, families separated and mental health impacted to name a few challenges. We know how to deal with Covid, we have learned a lot through the past 15 months and now is time to prudently get back to a more normal way of life, and we have the tools to do this!

Through the very strong support of the UK in providing the vaccine quickly to the island we were put in a good position to start a vaccination process ahead of many other countries and the government should be commended for working with the UK to make this happen and then to launch the program. However, as Bermuda enters another summer facing Covid, with another tourism season largely lost, and many restrictions still in place hurting our people, it is concerning that we have not only recently faced another dramatic spike in cases, and sadly deaths, but the community immunity will be hard to achieve by Cup Match unless the pace is picked up. I urge everyone to consult their doctor and get vaccinated. I have, as has my family, and we did it for ourselves and the community and hoped that getting back to a more normal way of life, with restrictions less and less over time, could happen quickly. The vaccine provides hope for a better tomorrow!

Government remains adamant at this time about mandatory quarantining at a government facility for any arrival who has not been vaccinated. While the policy is wise for those not vaccinated, quarantine at home could be enforced with strict penalties as it is not feasible for some who must travel to afford extra costs. I have had many people reach out to me on this subject with valid concerns and suggestions that the government should listen to.