Defying a Government mandate that requires all returning residents that are unvaccinated against the Covid-19 virus to quarantine at an approved hotel, social activist Sophia Cannonier and her family, upon arrival from England last evening refused instruction from agents of the Ministry of Health to board a waiting bus destined for an isolation facility.
Instead Ms. Cannonier and her troupe, with a member of the Bermuda Police Service (BPS) looking on at L.F. Wade International Airport bypassed the mini-bus in preference of her own vehicle, while stating that she was bound for her own residence in an act of “civil disobedience”.
“I am going home and that was ridiculous,” she said of the arrival procedures implemented as part of the Government Covid-19 public safety order under which dictates that non-vaccinated returning residents must quarantine at a Government approved hotel at their own expense, while returning residents who have been vaccinated are allowed to quarantine at home. “No, they are not taking me to the bus I am going to my own car.”
Ms. Cannonier added that she and her family were treated kindly by Health officers and that there was no hostility ventured.
“We were handled with love, we smiled and had good conversation,” she said. “We didn’t meet with any aggression. We talked to the police (and found out that) you cannot be arrested for coming through without a transport authority form. You cannot be arrested for showing your antibodies and not having a shot.
You cannot be arrested for asking the people who poke the swab up your nose to just do it with a little bit and not put it all the way back. And I’m going home now.”
In an argument against the promoted Governmental protocols she drew reference to her husband, whom she said had not only been allowed swift passage through the arrival terminal, but praised by an on duty nurse for his being able to document the fact that his body possessed Covid-19 antibodies, regarded as the preeminent health defense against the disease.
“My husband spoke beautifully,” she said. “A precedent has been set whereby on May 23 my husband travelled and upon arrival he showed his antibodies results, six months’ worth, and the nurse who was at the desk at that time said that it was great and let him right through, so let that be a message to Bermuda, that we need civil disobedience, because this is ridiculous, we’re not dealing with this.”
With that said Ms. Cannonier told the health officer on duty, who had instructed Ms. Cannonier and other presumed unvaccinated persons to follow him to a bus for transport to the Hamilton Princess, that she would not be travelling with the group.
Further discussions with a nearby policeman seemed to reveal that she was liable for arrest and prosecution, however the mother of two was unmoved.
“The Department of Health wants to arrest me,” she shared with TNN reporter Trevor Lindsay, “apparently they can, but I don’t think they can (because) they don’t have powers to arrest.”
Asked what avenues she might utilize if the authorities were to come to her residence, potentially to arrest her and her family she said: “Then I have to talk to them about antibodies because that’s what I was unable to get any information from anybody inside, because a precedent has been set whereby somebody was let through on May 23 with (proof of) their antibodies and they said it was great.
“The same person wasn’t there today, Roxanne Kipps-Jackson was there and she just called Jennifer Wilson and went around a corner to discuss privately and wouldn’t give me Jennifer Wilson’s number only the email and I’m like, ‘I’m going to give you my personal information but you’re not going to give me hers, but go around a corner and talk’, this is my life and my family’s life. If there’s anything that’s going to affect me and my family’s health I need to talk to that person, so I’m waiting to talk to Jennifer Wilson.”
Stay tuned for more on this story.
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