Controversial hotel quarantine rules delayed
A mandatory hotel quarantine at their own expense for non-immunised travellers to Bermuda will come into force on June 13 rather than tomorrow, the Government announced this morning.
The news came after a Supreme Court challenge yesterday where Chief Justice Narinder Hargun rejected a call for a temporary block on the regulation, which affected non-vaccinated residents as well as visitors.
A Government spokeswoman said: “We must continue to work to keep our island safe.”
The statement did not specify the reasons for the postponement.
But it highlighted that Mr Hargun had refused an application for an injunction brought before the courts by lawyer Mark Pettingill on behalf of three plaintiffs.
Mr Hargun is to issue a written explanation for his decision next week and a substantive hearing on the case is to be held next month.
The plaintiffs had argued that the case was in the public interest, that the applicants would suffer irreparable harm if the regulation was enforced and that the rights of individuals to freedom of movement overrode public safety fears.
The Government highlighted that Mr Hargun had ruled that the argument against the restriction “failed at the first hurdle and the applicants provided no reason for the court to stop the proposed plans”.
The spokeswoman added that the quarantine order would affect all non-immunised travellers and force them to stay at “those hotel and guesthouse properties that have been designated as such by the Government”.
There six approved locations are Coco Reef in Paget, Grotto Bay in Hamilton Parish, the Hamilton Princess in Pembroke, Willowbank in Sandys, Coral Beach and Tennis Club in Paget, and the Rosemont in Pembroke.
Travellers must pick one of the six locations, cover the cost of the stay themselves and book before arrival in Bermuda.
The spokeswoman added: “Each non-immunised traveller must ensure they have a confirmed, prepaid booking at a government-authorised hotel before boarding a flight to Bermuda.
“The confirmation must be uploaded into the traveller authorisation form.”
She added that information on the new travel authorisation form, including exemptions, would be available at gov.bm from next Wednesday.
All travellers to Bermuda are still required to have pre-arrival, arrival, Day 4, 8 and 14 tests.
The Government has been asked for the reasons for the delay.
Present restrictions for travellers can be found here.