Seventeen travellers mistakenly exempted from hotel quarantine
Travellers recently returning to the island were mistakenly sent home to quarantine, the government has admitted.
A Ministry of Health spokeswoman said last night the 17 travellers did not fall within categories exempted from mandatory hotel quarantine – unaccompanied minors or the medically vulnerable and their caregivers – and therefore should not have been sent home.
The news came as two residents were found positive for the coronavirus out of the latest 5,967 test results.
Both new cases arrived on Tuesday’s British Airways flight from London and tested positive on arrival.
Five people have recovered from the illness, bringing the island’s active cases to 12, with none in hospital.
The spokeswoman said the travellers mistakenly allowed to go home had since been told they must transition to designated hotels for the rest of their quarantine as required by law.
The Government will pay for their hotel stay and would transpoirt them to their hotels.
The travellers will be tested, with contact tracing to follow any positive results.
As of June 6, non-immunised travellers have been required to undergo a supervised 14-day quarantine at their own expense in a Government centre.
David Burt, the Premier, has said one of the goals of mandatory hotel quarantining is to minimise the risk of the reintroduction of variants.
The aunt of a traveller who was mistakenly sent home posted on Facebook saying her niece had received a letter from the government three days after arriving on the island advising her of the error.
The woman posted: “If it was an error, why didn’t it raise any bells at the airport? There was a woman at the airport going through the queue asking who had exemptions.”
The government spokeswoman said in a statement this evening that teams are working “day and night” to keep Bermuda’s borders secure.
She added: “We are grateful for the compliance of those travellers in this circumstance.”