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Queues complaint at coronavirus test station in Hamilton

Lining up: People queue in Queen Elizabeth Park for a coronavirus test at the Perot Post Office (Photograph supplied)

An increase in travellers caused long queues for Covid-19 testing at the main clinic in Hamilton over the weekend.

Some complained they had to wait more than two hours at the Perot Post Office before they got the test.

The lines for mandatory testing snaked through Queen Elizabeth Park at the weekend and dozens of people had to stand in the sun without shade.

A Bermudian who returned to the island on holiday said she had gone through the test regime before but had not seen anything like the long lines she encountered last week.

She said: “On May 24, I arrived early for my appointed slot and the queue was already backed up to the koi ponds.

“It was very warm, and there were elderly folks in line.

“I also noticed a heavily pregnant person. I had water, but most didn’t.”

The woman added: “My visit later in the week was no better and the weather even warmer.

“Again, I had water and a handheld fan, but most didn’t and indeed had no way of knowing they’d be necessary.

“It’s shameful and embarrassing to hear tourists – who we so desperately need – sound so exasperated and upset.”

The woman praised the nurses and staff at the Perot test centre for their hard work managing the growing number of travellers – but insisted the Government had to tackle the problem of long queues.

She said: “The Government could, at the very least, warn people of potentially long waits in the heat outdoors.

“Tourists and visitors especially have no way of knowing what awaits them.

“They could also consider providing water, snacks and folding chairs for the elderly, disabled or infirm.”

The woman added: “The current situation is egregious and will only worsen as the summer months bring hotter temperatures and oppressive humidity.

“There has to be a better way to handle testing – perhaps at an indoor facility at a central location with air conditioning.”

Complaints were also raised about the arrivals process at LF Wade International Airport caused by the testing of new arrivals.

A Ministry of Health spokeswoman said they were aware of the delays in testing both at the airport and the Perot testing centre.

The spokeswoman said: “The booking of testing for outbound travellers was incorrectly scheduled for the same time as regular traveller testing which led to some 400 people in line at 10am.

“This caused extensive delays and a long line at Perot.

“The testing processes at the airport will be modified to accommodate greater traveller numbers with additional resources being put in place to minimise wait times.”

The spokeswoman apologised for the delays and said the issues would be resolved to reduce the chance that similar occurrences will happen in the future.

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Published June 01, 2021 at 7:54 am (Updated June 01, 2021 at 7:31 am)

Queues complaint at coronavirus test station in Hamilton

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