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New Covid travel rules now in effect

Delta Air Lines at LF Wade International Airport (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

New travel regulations, including the ability for residents to use their pre-departure test as an arrival test if returning within 72 hours, came into effect yesterday.

Three changes, which have been brought to streamline border protocols, apply to all immunised travellers to Bermuda. There are no changes to travel requirements for unvaccinated travellers.

Visitors by air or sea, aged 12 and above, must be fully immunised to land in Bermuda.

Unimmunised children aged 11 and below may travel to Bermuda either unaccompanied or with a vaccinated parent or guardian.

Protocols are posted online.

Residents flying off for three days or less can upload their outbound tests instead of getting a pre-arrival test. All travellers will be PCR tested on arrival.

Those in need of quick test result on arrival at the airport can pay an additional $100 fee when applying for the Bermuda travel authorisation.

It came after MPs on Friday approved a 60-day extension to public health emergency regulations.

Kim Wilson, the health minister, said that the public safety order in force would expire on January 28 next year – before the House returned from the Christmas break.

The new order will extend the emergency regulations until February 27.

Mr Wilson told MPs that Covid-19 “will be with us for a long time both locally and globally” and it was vital that the public stuck to the rules.

She warned: “Individual decisions can have island-wide consequences.

“We live on a very small island and as you know from previous outbreaks the coronavirus spreads quickly and negatively impacts the whole community.”

Ms Wilson was speaking as the House backed the Public Health (Covid-19) Emergency Extension (No 7) Order 2021.

Michael Dunkley, the shadow Minister of National Security, said that many people now suffered from Covid-19 fatigue.

He asked: “Who would have predicted last summer that we would still be concerned about it?

“Many people are worn out by this experience. What does the minister think the next few months will look like?”

Mr Dunkley added: “That’s not a loaded question – we’re in a better place now than we have been in the last 20 months, but we have seen spikes in cases because we have let our guard down.”

Ms Wilson told Mr Dunkley that nobody had a crystal ball, but that the Government was doing everything it could to protect the public.

She added that there was “a myriad of circumstances and it’s going to be here for quite some time”.

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Published December 14, 2021 at 8:40 am (Updated December 14, 2021 at 8:40 am)

New Covid travel rules now in effect

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