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Nurse agreed to no quarantine after man said he had Covid natural immunity, court told

Court Case on Natural Immunity: Michael Watson takes the stand (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A man accused of breaking quarantine rules said natural immunity had succeeded in getting him through Customs before and thought it would work again, a court heard.

Michael Watson, 46, said that he had brought up his Covid natural immunity status and had received the all clear to continue without quarantining at a hotel, Magistrates’ Court was told.

Mr Watson and his wife, Sophia Cannonier, 53, have denied refusing to comply with a mandatory quarantine and failure to complete a Travel Authorisation form.

They have also pleaded not guilty to leaving their home on July 20 last year, before the end of their quarantine period.

Ms Cannonier has also denied allowing unauthorised people to visit her on the same day. Their trial started last month.

Mr Watson told the court on Wednesday: “A month before, I came in on a US flight and I spoke with a nurse.

“I showed the antibody test to the nurse, she confirmed that was a good thing and she gave me green status on my Travel Authorisation form.”

Mr Watson added: “I tried this again when we arrived in July with the same approach. But the nurse said the Bermuda Government does not recognise prior infections.”

Mr Watson told the court that he had quarantined at Southampton Princess several months before the alleged incident with his two eldest children.

He said that his children, who were “both highly trained dancers who needed to move a lot,” felt cramped while at the hotel and became “more insular” after the experience.

“We only had access to the balcony for fresh air. We got three square meals a day and they were left outside our door.

“My children are quite resilient, but being stuck in a small space was quite difficult for them.”

Mr Watson told the court: “I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I didn’t want to put them through that again.”

He said that he filled out the Travel Authorisation forms for his family on their trip to the UK last summer.

He added that he did not provide proof of vaccination or a hotel receipt because there was no option to say he and his family developed natural immunity after getting Covid-19.

Mr Watson told the court that he planned to explain this to Customs when he returned to Bermuda – but found himself speaking with a Customs officer at LF Wade International Airport for more than an hour and ultimately did not sign the TA form.

He said that he did not have an opportunity to read the form while at the airport.

Mr Watson admitted there were a lot of people waiting to greet him at the airport and later his house and that they were even the same people who protested their case outside the courtroom.

But he insisted he did not know why they came to visit. Mr Watson said: “They came at their own volition.”

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.

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Published August 01, 2022 at 7:44 am (Updated August 01, 2022 at 7:44 am)

Nurse agreed to no quarantine after man said he had Covid natural immunity, court told

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