Bermuda Government to Provide Benefits to People Unemployed As a Result of COVID-19

Minister of Labour, Community Affairs and Sports Lovitta Foggo

HAMILTON, Bermuda, Friday March 20, 2020 – Minister of Labour, Community Affairs and Sports Lovitta Foggo says Government is working to provide an unemployment benefit for individuals who are out of work due to the economic impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

She said a task force has been created to implement the unemployment benefit scheme.

“We appreciate that these are unprecedented and uncertain times, particularly for employees who may be facing unemployment due to business closures. So, this Government is trying to be sensitive to the needs and hardship that our residents may face,” Foggo said.

“To be clear, this unemployment benefit is not intended to be a substitute for financial assistance. The proposed period for this unemployment benefit is three months, after which workers may apply for financial assistance. The policy will be administered through the Department of Workforce Development.”

The Labour Minister said further details are being finalized regarding the unemployment benefit. But the aim is to have the programme operational by next Monday.

Bermuda has two confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Following the announcement of that development on Wednesday, Premier David Burt said the LF Wade International Airport will be closed from tonight for two weeks, the seaport is closed to vessels other than cargo ships, public transportation services have been suspended until April 6 and schools have been closed until that date as well.

Burt has encouraged private businesses to ask their employees to work from home, if possible, or stagger work schedules to minimize the number of people in the workplace.

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