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Sophia Cannonier tells court her antibodies ‘equal to, if not better than’ vaccine

Sophia Cannonier, who faces four charges (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A woman accused of breaking Covid-19 quarantine rules had antibodies that she believed were “equal to, if not better than” a vaccine, Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday.

Sophia Cannonier, 52, who took the stand during the second day of her trial, said that health officers refused to listen to her when she told them she had developed antibodies against Covid-19.

She added that she decided to quarantine at her home instead of a hotel, despite hotel quarantines being mandatory for those like herself who were unvaccinated.

Ms Cannonier told the court: “We have a home we can go to where we can isolate. We have a mortgage that we’re paying for that home.

“We’d been out of work for many months and we could not afford to go to a hotel that we did not want.

“We had all had prior infections and therefore we knew that we should be treated like someone who had had an injection against Covid-19.”

Ms Cannonier has denied allowing unauthorised people to visit her on July 20 last year.

She, alongside her husband, Michael Watson, have also pleaded not guilty to leaving their home on the same day before the end of their quarantine period.

They have further denied a refusal to comply with a mandatory quarantine and failure to complete a Travel Authorisation form on July 11.

Ms Cannonier told the court that she and her family had contracted Covid-19 on January 20 last year and that she checked to see if she had antibodies.

She said: “We had taken it upon ourselves, per our doctor’s advice, to check our antibodies for immunity, which to our understanding was equal to, if not better than, an injection of the Covid-19 vaccination.”

Ms Cannonier said that during the summer of 2021 she went to London with Mr Watson and her youngest daughter to see their son, who was away in boarding school, and to help their other daughter return to Bermuda from school.

She said that their returning Travel Authorisation forms included their negative Covid-19 test results and documents about their antibody count.

Ms Cannonier told the court that she did not list herself as vaccinated or confirm that they would quarantine at a hotel.

But she insisted “we did complete the TA form to the best of our abilities”.

Ms Cannonier said: “We filled out our main address for all of our children and we uploaded our negative tests as required.

“There was no box for prior infection and we are un-injected, therefore we did not put that there, but there were no other options.”

She added: “I had an idea that it [the hotel quarantine] would cost me $1,000 to $4,000 for each room, and that’s not including the food.”

Ms Cannonier said that she and her family flew back to Bermuda on July 11 last year and offered their TA forms and antibody paperwork to health officers at LF Wade International Airport.

But she said that the family was directed to Roxanne Jackson, a senior administrator, whom they spoke to for about 25 minutes before being told their paperwork would not be accepted.

Ms Cannonier said: “She said that the Bermuda Government did not recognise that, that she was not comfortable talking to me about that and that Michael had to fill out a form for a hotel.”

She added: “I told her I’m not going to a hotel because I have antibodies and that she’s a nurse and she should recognise that if you’ve had an injection they give you immunity and that’s what antibodies do as well.”

Ms Cannonier said that her family completed their arrival Covid-19 tests before going to their home in a private van.

She added that at no point was she told that she had to get on a bus that would transport her to a hotel.

The trial continues.

• It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.