COVID-19 Guidance for Events and Gatherings

Updated April 14th 2021 

Bermuda is presently under a 7-day Stay at Home Order (as of 5am on Tuesday April 13th 2021).

During this period only permitted businesses are allowed to operate between the hours of 7am and 7pm. Those permitted businesses are:

  • Grocery stores 
  • Pharmacies
  • Banks (limited services) 
  • Gas stations
  • Offices of registered health professionals, clinics, hospital or other health facilities (including veterinary surgeries).

Additionally, grocery shopping will return to alphabetized days of shopping by surname, as outlined here

Click here to review the Premier's full statement for further details.

Click here to review the Public Health (COVID-19 Emergency Powers) (Stay At Home) Regulations 2021 for further details.

Events and gatherings and the mixing of households is prohibited.

The following guidance should be followed when events and gatherings are permitted. 

Large Gathering Exemption

Large gatherings are prohibited.  When large gatherings are permitted, if you are planning to organize an event with more than the permitted maximum, you must first apply to the Minister of National Security for an exemption. Applications are made online via the following link: https://forms.gov.bm/Exemption-for-Large-Gatherings

Application Guidance for Sport and Cultural Large Event Organizers.

Travel Advice for Staff and Attendees

The Ministry of Health advises against any non-essential travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If an employee or attendee must travel, they must not return to work or attend the event or gathering until permitted to do so in accordance with the relevant Travellers' First 14 Days in Bermuda guidance.

The organizer of the event or gathering should develop travel policies for both employees and attendees to ensure the information is adequately communicated.

For further guidance review the Workplace Guidance . To review the Travellers' First 14 Days in Bermuda guidance visit the webpages for immunised travellers and non-immunised travellers.  

Transit Advice for Staff and Attendees

Encourage employees to use transportation options that minimize close contact with others (e.g. walking or biking, driving or riding by car – alone or with household members only). Consider offering the following support:

  • Allow employees to shift their hours so they can commute during less busy times.
  • Ask employees to wash their hands as soon as possible after their trip.

Reconfigure parking lots to limit congregation points and ensure proper separation of employees (e.g. closing every other parking space).

Encourage rideshare drivers to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in the vehicle and avoid providing pooled rides or picking up multiple passengers who would not otherwise be riding together on the same route.

Screenings

Temperatures of everyone in attendance must be checked before the event/gathering using the Bermuda Hospitals Board screening tool, which can be found here.  

Hand Hygiene 

There should be adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene behaviors, such as soap, water, hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol, paper towels, tissues, disinfectant wipes, masks (as feasible), and no-touch trash cans.

Require frequent employee hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, employees can use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol and rub their hands until dry.

Attendees must use hand sanitizer or hand washing facilities as they enter the venue.

Contact Tracing

Develop a contingency plan to support contact tracing and notify the Department of Health of any case of COVID-19.

All persons attending the event or in the facility during the event must sign in and provide the following contact information:

  • Their full name
  • Date and time of visit
  • Phone number
  • Email address

The contact details of your patrons must be recorded and kept for 21 days. If requested, this information must be provided to Public Health Officers to assist with contact tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Physical Distancing

Ensure attendees and staff maintain adequate physical distancing at all times - a 6 feet separation or where not possible, 3 feet separation coupled with the wearing face masks. 

Options to achieve this include:

  • Use screens or barriers to separate workers from each other, workers from attendees at points of service and any other point where it is difficult for workers or attendees to maintain a 6 feet separation from each another.
  • Calculate the maximum number of attendees that can reasonably adhere to adequate physical distancing at the venue taking into account total indoor and outdoor space, specific venue characteristics such as furniture as well as likely pinch points and busy areas.
  • Reconfigure indoor and outdoor seating and tables - increase the distance between tables to ensure there is 6 feet between tables.
  • Where it is not possible to have 6 feet separation between tables a physical barrier of at least 6 and a half feet high can be used to separate tables.
  • Reduce the need for attendees to queue, but where this is unavoidable, discourage attendees from queueing indoors and use outdoor spaces for queueing where available and safe.
  • Attendees in a queue must ensure they maintain physical distancing and wear a mask.
  • Manage outside queues to ensure they do not cause a risk to individuals, other businesses or additional security risks. For example: introduce a queuing system, have staff direct attendees and protect queues from traffic by routing them behind permanent physical structures such as street furniture, bike racks, bollards or putting up barriers.
  • Provide clear guidance on physical distancing and hygiene to people before and upon arrival. For example: signage, visual aids at the venue, and before arrival: by phone, on the website or by email. Consider the particular needs of those with protected characteristics, such as those who are hearing or visually impaired.
  • Manage the entry of attendees, and the number of attendees at a venue, so that all indoor attendees are seated with appropriate distancing and those outdoors have appropriately spaced seating or standing room. This is to ensure that the venue, including areas of congestion, does not become overcrowded.
  • Managing entry numbers can also be done through reservation systems, physical distancing markings, having attendees queue at a safe distance for toilets or by bringing payment machines to attendees, where possible.
  • Manage attendees leaving the venue particularly at close of business to ensure there is no crowding together.
  • Ensure any changes to entrances, exits and queue management take into account reasonable adjustments for those who need them, including disabled attendees. For example, maintaining pedestrian and parking access for disabled attendees.
  • Remind attendees who are accompanied by children that they are responsible for supervising them at all times and should follow physical distancing guidelines.
  • Look at how people move through the venue and how you could adjust this to reduce congestion and contact between attendees, for example, queue management or one-way flow, where possible.
  • Plan for maintaining physical distancing guidelines in the event of adverse weather conditions, being clear that attendees cannot seek shelter indoors unless physical distancing can be maintained.
  • Determine if schedules for essential services and contractor visits can be revised to reduce interaction and overlap between people. For example: carrying out services at night.
  • Reduce the number of people each staff member has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’ (so each person works with only a few others).
  • Consider limiting the number of people who occupy the restroom(s) at one time to allow for physical distancing.
  • Limit attendance or seating capacity to allow for physical distancing, or host smaller events in larger rooms.
  • Block off rows or sections of seating in order to space people at least 6 feet apart.
  • Prioritize outdoor activities where physical distancing can be maintained as much as possible.
  • Offer online attendance options in addition to in-person attendance to help reduce the number of attendees.
  • Provide physical guides, such as tape on floors or sidewalks and signs on walls, to ensure that individuals remain at least 6 feet apart in lines and at other times (e.g. guides for creating one-way routes).
  • Stagger and limit attendance times to minimize the number of guests at the venue.

Masks

Attendees must wear masks at all times when not seated at a table or when moving around the venue. This will include when queuing at any time.

Staff must wear masks at all times.

Provide all staff with information on proper use, removal and washing of masks. Refer to Government’s advice on masks.

Advise staff and attendees that masks should not be placed on:

  • Babies or children younger than 2 years old
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing
  • Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance

Ventilation

Ensure ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible, for example, by opening windows and doors. Do not open windows and doors if doing so poses a safety or health risk to staff or attendees (e.g. risk of falling or triggering asthma symptoms).

If portable ventilation equipment like fans are used, take steps to minimize air from them blowing from one person directly at another person to reduce the potential spread of any airborne or aerosolized viruses.

Cleaning & Disinfecting

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces within the venue at least daily or between uses as much as possible—for example, door handles, sink handles, drinking fountains, grab bars, hand railings, and cash registers.
  • Clean and disinfect shared objects between uses—for example, payment terminals, tables, countertops, bars, and condiment holders.
  • Develop a schedule for increased routine cleaning and disinfection.
  • Plan for and enact these cleaning routines when renting event space and ensure that other groups who may use your facilities follow these routines.
  • Ensure safe and correct use and storage of cleaners and disinfectants to avoid harm to employees and other individuals. Always read and follow label instructions for each product, and store products securely away from children.
  • Use disinfectants approved by the U.S. EPA or equivalent.
  • Cleaning products should not be used near children. Staff should ensure that there is adequate ventilation when using these products to prevent attendees or themselves from inhaling toxic vapors.
  • Use disposable gloves when removing garbage bags or handling and disposing of trash:
  • After using disposable gloves, throw them out in a lined trash can.
  • Do not disinfect or reuse the gloves.
  • Wash hands after removing gloves.
  • Close off areas used by a sick person and do not use these areas until after cleaning and disinfecting them (for outdoor areas, this includes surfaces or shared objects in the area, if applicable). You should follow the Government’s guidance  for Cleaning & Disinfection of Community Facilities WITH known or suspected cases
  • Wait at least 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting. If 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible. Ensure safe and correct use and storage of cleaning and disinfecting products, including storing them securely away from children.
    • Clean and disinfect indoor spaces in between uses.
    • Clean and disinfect restrooms regularly (e.g. in the morning and evening or after times of heavy use).
    • Drinking fountains should be cleaned and sanitized, but encourage staff and attendees to bring their own water, as feasible, to minimize touching and use of water fountains.

Food Service

There is no evidence that COVID-19 is spread by food. However, people sharing utensils and congregating around food service areas can pose a risk.

If the event includes food service, refer to the Government’s guidance on indoor and outdoor dining at: https://www.gov.bm/coronavirus-workplace

Sick Attendees or Staff

  • Advise staff and attendees to stay home if they have tested positive for COVID-19 or are showing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Advise staff and attendees to stay home and monitor their health if they have had a close contact with a person who has symptoms of COVID-19 within the past 14 days.
  • Ensure that sick staff and attendees are aware that they should only come to the event/gathering if they have been cleared to do so by their medical practitioner. They should also be advised to follow the Governments Quarantine Dos and Don’ts available at: https://www.gov.bm/sites/default/files/11436%20-%20Coronavirus%202020_Precautions%20Poster_2_0.pdf
  • Encourage staff and attendees to self-report to event officials or a designated COVID-19 point of contact if they have symptoms of COVID-19, a positive test for COVID-19, or were exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms (whether a suspected or confirmed case) within the last 14 days
  • Develop policies that encourage sick employees to stay at home without fear of reprisal, and ensure employees are aware of these policies.
  • Consider developing flexible refund policies for attendees for events that involve a participation fee.
  • Immediately separate staff and attendees with COVID-19 symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, shortness of breath) at the event. Individuals who are sick should go home or to a healthcare facility, depending on how severe their symptoms are.
  • Individuals who have had close contact with a person who has symptoms should be separated and sent home. They should be advised to monitor their health for any symptoms.
  • Planners may follow the Government’s guidance for Rooming Houses for any staff who live in such shared accommodation: https://www.gov.bm/sites/default/files/Rooming_House_Guidance2.pdf
  • Planners should liaise with the Department of Health to identify where necessary, an isolation area to separate anyone who has COVID-like symptoms or who has tested positive but does not have symptoms.
  • Establish procedures for safely transporting anyone sick to their home or to a healthcare facility. If you are calling an ambulance or bringing someone to the hospital, call first to alert them that the person may have COVID-19.

Protections for Staff and Attendees at Higher Risk of Severe Illness from COVID-19

Offer options for staff at higher risk for severe illness (including older adults and people of any age with underlying medical conditions) that limit their exposure risk. For example:

  • Offer telework and modified job responsibilities for staff, such as setting up for the event rather than working at the registration desk.
  • Replace in-person meetings with video- or tele-conference calls whenever possible.

As feasible, offer options for attendees at higher risk for severe illness that limit their exposure risk (e.g. virtual attendance).

Put policies in place to protect the privacy of people at higher risk for severe illness regarding their underlying medical conditions.

Communication

Explain to attendees and staff that failure to follow public health safety measures will result in them being asked to leave the venue.

Encourage workers to remind customers to follow physical distancing advice and clean their hands regularly.

Inform customers that they should be prepared to remove face coverings safely if asked to do so by police officers and staff for the purposes of identification.

Where necessary, inform customers that the Bermuda Police Service and the Royal Bermuda Regiment have the powers to enforce requirements in relation to physical distancing and may instruct customers to disperse, leave an area, or take further enforcement action.

Training

All staff should complete the Government’s online Covid-19 infection prevention and control training course. This is available online at: https://www.gov.bm/infection-prevention-and-control-training

WeHealth Bermuda App

The Bermuda Government launched the WeHealth Bermuda app in an effort to closely monitor the local developments of COVID-19 and ultimately help control the spread of the virus. WeHealth Bermuda is a new smartphone application that provides anonymous COVID-19 exposure notifications, and it is one of the world's most sophisticated apps of its kind.

All Bermudians and visitors to the island are strongly encouraged to download the app for free from the App Store or Google Play. It will run on iPhone models 6S and above with iOS version 13.7 installed. Android users can use the app if their phone supports Bluetooth Low Energy and Android Version 6 (API 23) or above.

Learn more about WeHealth here

Return to the COVID-19 Guidance page.

 

 

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