The heat is on as lines lengthen for Covid-19 tests
Punishing heat came yesterday with a particularly long queue for travellers outside the coronavirus testing clinic in Hamilton.
The line of hundreds leading to the Perot Post Office on Queen Street wound around the library and stretched across the adjoining Queen Elizabeth Park, approaching the park’s western entrance on Par-la-Ville Road.
The Royal Gazette spoke with an American traveller arriving at the back of the line at 3pm for his day 14 test who was resigned to an hour’s wait.
“I’m okay with waiting,” he said. “I’m flying out on Wednesday so this becomes my departure test. I knew it was going to be like this.”
He added: “You guys have done a great job so this is expected. I also understand they’re changing the regulations so that it’s not as frequent.”
He was speaking after David Burt, the Premier, announced on Friday that the Government was contemplating easing some of the island’s restrictions against the pandemic.
With Bermuda’s population inching towards 65 per cent full vaccination, Mr Burt told the House of Assembly there was scope for reviewing mandatory supervised quarantines for travellers.
Also last week, Kim Wilson, the health minister, said the day 14 test had been dropped effective on Friday for fully vaccinated incoming travellers
From Friday they would get tested on arrival, day four and day ten instead of arrival, day four, day eight and day 14.
With about two-thirds of the queue to go, Erica, visiting from Bowie, Maryland, admitted she was feeling the heat.
Temperatures in Hamilton stood in the upper 80s, with humidity at a high.
“It’s really hot,” she said. “They shouldn’t have so many people doing this at one time, or they should split it up a bit. They could have more than one place in Hamilton.
She said: “If you figure at least 1,000 people come in every day, that’s a lot of people coming out for testing.”
A dual citizen, she said she came to Bermuda every summer and liked that the island was safe for travel.
“Coming in with the Covid testing was really organised,” she added. “But with all the visitors coming in, if they could reduce the waiting time, maybe set up another temporary spot, that would be nice.”