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‘Air bridge’ flight set for next week

Air support: Governor John Rankin says there has been a flight arranged to bring Bermudians home from Britain next week. (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

The Governor said last night that an “air bridge” flight to bring Bermudians home from Britain to Bermuda is scheduled for take-off.John Rankin explained the flight was expected to take off early next week to give stranded Bermudians a chance to return to the island.Mr Rankin said the Foreign and Commonwealth Office had “recognised the importance of helping Bermudian students and others in the UK who want to get back home”.He added said the aircraft would also be “loaded with cargo for Bermuda — including, I hope, pharmaceuticals”.The British Airways charter flight was approved yesterday by Baroness Sugg, the Minister for the Overseas Territories.The plane will also fly Caymanians home after the Bermuda stop.Passengers will need to pay for their flights and the cost and payment methods will be announced later.Any shortfall will be covered by the British government. Mr Rankin said the returned Bermudians would not be allowed to self-quarantine, but would have to stay in a Government-approved quarantine centre.David Burt, the Premier, said there was enough space at the island’s quarantine sites to accommodate the passengers,Mr Burt added the Government had a moral responsibility to bring people home.He said he had been received messages from Bermudians stuck in other countries by travel restrictions imposed for the Covid-19 pandemic.Mr Burt added: “There are Bermudians overseas that are running out of food and I am not going to leave them overseas to fend for themselves. We will bring them home.”