Infected tourist sets off tracing frenzy

  • The catamaran charter boat Zara (File photograph)

    The catamaran charter boat Zara (File photograph)

A tourist who has tested positive for Covid-19 sparked a major tracing operation after it was learnt she spent time on a charter boat, visited a gym and dined at a restaurant.

The visitor attended an event on the catamaran Zara, went to a Hamilton gym, and dined at a restaurant after she had a clear pre-departure test and negative on-island tests.

The woman was on the charter boat Zara on Saturday night and also visited Beyond Fitness Bermuda, where she worked with a personal trainer.

It is also understood that she visited a restaurant in the city, but The Royal Gazette was unable to contact the owner by press time.

The Department of Health confirmed that the traveller, who has not been named, and the businesses involved had stuck to Covid-19 regulations.

Jonathan Kempe, the owner and captain of Zara, said the boat had been cleared to continue operations, but was forced to quarantine the four staff who were on board on the cruise last Saturday night.

The 50 guests on the catamaran have also been told to self-quarantine.

Mr Kempe added: “She had two pre-departure Covid tests, which were both negative and her arrival test was negative, but her second on-island test came back positive yesterday, August 17.

“So she must have come into contact with someone just before getting to Bermuda; hence why her arrival test was negative as the virus must not have incubated yet. It can take up to 14 days.

“The Department of Health are now having to do extensive contact tracing, going back to see everywhere she has been and unfortunately she was on Zara as well as several other places.”

Mr Kempe said: “Since the incubation period can be up to 14 days, there is no other option than for us to quarantine for 14 days.

“We are pretty confident that none of our crew would have contracted it as we were taking precautions but unfortunately we still need to quarantine for the prescribed period.

Zara has not been shut down and is allowed to continue operation but all of the crew who were working that charter need to quarantine the same as all the passengers. The same goes for other establishments she visited.”

Christine Dailey, the owner of Beyond Fitness, said in a newsletter to clients that the business would remain open. But she added it had updated its rules to insist that people from outside Bermuda must get a clear Day 14 test before they could use the gym.

Ms Dailey said in the newsletter that the “trainer that worked with the client was immediately sent home and the room was sanitised promptly”.

She added: “Following my conversation with the representative from the Department of Health, BFB management notified the small group of people that were potentially exposed to make them aware that the Department of Health would reach out to them.

“Finally, we felt it was imperative that we made our membership base aware of the situation quickly, enabling clients to be able to make decisions on how to proceed with already scheduled classes and personal training sessions.”

Ms Dailey said those who had not been contacted by BFB or the Department of Health were not considered at risk.

She added that the trainer was now quarantined for 14 days and must have a clear Covid-19 test before they returned to work.

Ms Dailey said: “After reviewing the timeline of events that took place in BFB, the Department of Health has confirmed that no other BFB staff are considered at risk and do not require isolation.”

Government regulations stipulate that all foreign visitors must have a clear test result inside 72 hours from departure before travel authorisation is granted.

Visitors must take another test at the airport on arrival and stay in quarantine until a clear test result is confirmed.

Travellers to the island must also use social-distancing and take Covid tests on days 4, 8 and 14 of their stay.

The Government announced yesterday that from August 25 any arrivals without a test taken in the country of departure would have to test in Bermuda and quarantine for at least eight days.

They will have to have a clear test result after Day 8 to be released from quarantine.

The Ministry of Health did not respond to a request for comment last night.

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Published Aug 19, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Aug 19, 2020 at 2:46 pm)

Infected tourist sets off tracing frenzy

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