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Airlines told not to deny boarding to Bermudians on their way home

Travel authorisation problems: The Government says it is aware that Bermudians have been refused boarding while trying to return to the island (File photograph)

Bermudians have been unable to board flights to the island because of problems with Covid-19 travel authorisation, the Government said yesterday.

A Government spokeswoman said that “no Bermudian will be denied the ability to return home” and that airlines serving the island had been told they could not refuse to transport Bermudians on their way home and that the message had also been delivered to the International Air Transport Association.

But she added: “Both visitors and residents must apply for a Bermuda Covid-19 travel authorisation one to three days before departure.

“Travellers arriving in Bermuda without a travel authorisation, causing one to be completed upon arrival, will result in a travel authorisation fee of $1,000.

“Under the Quarantine Act, failure to pay the $1000 travel authorisation fee will result in a penalty.

“The fee for a travel authorisation completed in advance as required, is $75.00.”

She was speaking as a two week compulsory quarantine in an approved hotel, at the travellers’ expense, kicked in today.

The spokeswoman said it was essential that other steps - such as test results, vaccine certificates or hotel or exemption confirmations - should be completed before travel authorisation was applied for.

The spokeswoman said anyone whose travel authorisation was rejected because of a lack of information should call the Covid-19 helpline.

She warned: “The helpline is currently experiencing delays and every effort is being made to promptly answer calls and provide assistance.

“The Ministry of Health will be adding more resources this week to better assist travellers.”

The spokeswoman added that anyone who wanted to apply for an exemption from mandatory quarantine in a hotel at their own expense should complete the online form as soon as possible.

She said: “Failure to complete the travel authorisation correctly and entirely will delay entry into Bermuda”

Kim Wilson, the health minister, said: “These recent changes have been implemented to further protect our community from the coronavirus and its variants.

“Bermuda must have strong protection at our borders so that we can move beyond the pandemic.”

Travel authorisation applications can be found at https://www.gov.bm/applying-bermuda-travel-authorisation.

Exemption application forms can be found at https://forms.gov.bm/hotelexemption.

The Covid-19 helpline can be contacted at 444-2498 for assistance between 8am and 8pm every day.

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Published June 21, 2021 at 3:56 pm (Updated June 21, 2021 at 3:56 pm)

Airlines told not to deny boarding to Bermudians on their way home

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