Omicron causes travel rules updates
Omicron, a newly emerged variant of Covid-19, has brought tougher restrictions to air travel, with Bermuda’s closest neighbour planning to shorten the turnaround time for a clear test from three days to 24 hours before travel.
Here are the requirements as of yesterday some of the island’s top international destinations:
· US: Since November, the US has required travellers by air to be fully vaccinated – and to show either a negative Covid-19 test result within three days of travel, or documentation of recovery from Covid-19.
The requirement applies to non-nationals aged two and above.
But Reuters reported that as of late on Tuesday, the US Centres for Disease Control was “moving to require that all air travellers entering the country show a negative Covid-19 test performed within one day of departure in response to concerns about a new coronavirus variant”.
With effect from Monday, under a presidential proclamation, the US blocked travellers from six countries in Africa.
The move was in response to the emergence of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in South Africa.
Bermuda has been bumped down the CDC’s list, from Level 4, “very high”, to Level 3, “high” – recommending travellers to the island get vaccinated.
· UK: Bermuda is on the list of destinations with approved proof of vaccination, so travellers show officials a vaccination certificate.
Great Britain will require a passenger locator form filled out 48 hours before travel, and a private PCR test booked and paid for in advance. A reference number for the test must be included on the travel form.
According to the UK Government’s website, travellers must quarantine at home or at wherever they are staying until they receive their test results.
Unvaccinated travellers to the UK must get a clear PCR test three days before their flight, and have day two and day eight PCR tests booked ahead of their arrival.
Ten countries across Africa have been added to the UK’s “red list” for travel last week as a result of the Omicron variant.
· Canada: Fully vaccinated Bermuda travellers must show a clear PCR test within three days of flying. The rule applies to travellers aged five and above.
Vaccine certification and test results must be uploaded onto the ArriveCAN app.
Canada requires random arrival tests from some travellers.
Like the UK, Canada has banned travel from ten African nations.
With few exceptions, Canada is not admitting unvaccinated non-nationals.
· Portugal: A clear PCR test within 72 hours of travel is required.
Portugal is requiring a European Union digital Covid certificate for incoming travellers, showing vaccination, test or recovery results, as well as a passenger locator card for tracking Covid-19 exposure.