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Extra time in quarantine for travellers

People on two-week quarantine in Government centres will have to spend 14 extra days in isolation if they test positive for the coronavirus.

The order, which came into force on Tuesday, said: “A person placed in quarantine under the Quarantine (Incoming Traveller) Order 2020, who, upon being tested, is found to test positive for Covid-19 shall continue under quarantine at a place approved by the quarantine authority for an extended period that shall not exceed 14 days from the end of the initial quarantine period.”

Kim Wilson, the health minister, said on Monday that people who tested clear of the virus would be allowed to leave quarantine centres.

But she added that they would remain under public health supervision and self-quarantine at home for another two weeks.

Ms Wilson said that people who tested positive would be monitored, “including daily temperature checks and phone contact by a public health officer”.

The minister added: “Those who cannot adequately self-quarantine at home will be able to continue at the quarantine facility.”

More than 200 people in six Government quarantine centres were tested for the coronavirus on Sunday, before their initial two-week isolation period ended.

The “extension of quarantine” order was published in the Official Gazette on Tuesday and came before a second British Airways air bridge flight brought more Bermuda residents back to the island yesterday.

A Ministry of Health spokeswoman explained yesterday: “The decision to offer testing to persons before completing their mandatory quarantine period was a Government policy decision and persons participated with consent.

‘The Extension of Quarantine Order did not enable testing. It was made to ensure persons who tested positive could quarantine safely in a Government facility.”

An earlier order, which became operational on March 20, meant that people who arrived on the island would be forced to self-quarantine for at least 14 days.

But the Quarantine (Incoming Traveller) Order 2020 — from April 2 — said that arrivals would spend no more than two weeks “at a place approved by the quarantine authority”.

It included a provision that the 14 days could be extended for “such additional period as a public health officer or medical practitioner may determine to be necessary, to prevent the person from infecting or contaminating others”.

Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published April 26, 2020 at 3:08 pm (Updated April 26, 2020 at 3:08 pm)

Extra time in quarantine for travellers

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