Mercy flight brings Bermudians home from US
A handful of American citizens caught a ride home to the United States last night after two flights brought in Bermudian residents and students stranded in the US by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Bermuda Business Development Agency said it had teamed up with several companies to charter two flights from Atlanta “to enable a number of students, whose universities and colleges have shut down, and family members to return home”.
Roland Andy Burrows, the chief executive of the BDA, added that people around the world were dealing with “uncertain and unsettling times” during the pandemic.
He said: “Our students in the US who haven't been able to find a way home as their schools closed and airlines suspended international flights, faced even greater uncertainty, as did their families.
“Working together, we are pleased that we have been able to find a solution to get our students home to their loved ones during this time. We thank all of those involved for their help. One of Bermuda's many great strengths is the resilience of her people and our ability to pull together as a community in times of difficulty.”
Constance Dierman, the US Consul General, said it was “only a few people who were interested and able to travel on short notice”.
She added: “The US Consulate is grateful for the efforts by the Bermuda Business Development Agency and members of the business sector who came together to make it possible for Bermudians, and Americans, to get home.”
The flights were chartered by Butterfield Bank, airport operators Skyport, Sol Petroleum and insurance firms Zurich and Freisenbruch Insurance Group. Travellers were required to self-isolate and monitor their health for 14 days.
David Burt said last night that “many of them will be housed in quarantine facilities which have been offered by the Government of Bermuda”.
The Premier added that travellers who arrived on future flights would not be allowed to self-quarantine.
He said: “They will be required to be under their period of 14 days in a government-approved quarantine facility.”