Rules of the road: Covid-19 regulations for travel abroad
The rapid spread of the Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus has forced countries across the globe to tighten entry restrictions for travellers.
For people planning to get off the island for Christmas that has caused further inconvenience — and cost — at what is already regarded as a stressful and expensive time of the year.
The general rule is that, wherever people are travelling to, it will be much easier to get through border controls if people have been fully vaccinated.
The Royal Gazette looks at the travel regulations of a number of popular destinations.
THE UNITED STATES
Foreign nationals aged over 18 must be fully vaccinated, although there are limited exceptions, such as medical emergencies. The final vaccine dose must have been taken at least 14 days before travelling.
Before boarding a flight to the US, all passengers, with the exception of infants under the age of 2, are also required to provide proof of a clear PCR or antigen test taken no more than a day before travel. The USA will accept a Bermuda-issued proof of Covid-19 vaccination and clear test result.
There is no requirement to quarantine on arrival, but visitors are advised to take a second test inside three days.
American nationals do not have to be vaccinated but must provide proof of a clear test taken inside one day of travel. They must also self-quarantine for seven days after arrival.
All foreign nationals over the age of 12 who visit Canada must also be fully vaccinated and have a clear test taken no more than three days before travel. Unvaccinated children under the age of 12 can enter the country, but must quarantine — unless travelling with a fully vaccinated parent or guardian.
Non-vaccinated Canadian citizens can enter the country, but must still provide a negative test result.
Canada also requires arrival tests from randomly selected travellers.
Anyone aged over 12 must have proof of a clear Covid-19 test taken no earlier than two days before travelling.
People who are fully vaccinated must book and pay for a post-arrival Covid-19 test before departure.
One further requirement before take-off is a completed passenger locator form.
The post-arrival test must be taken within two days and people must quarantine until they get a clear result. If the test is positive, people must quarantine for another ten days.
Children aged 5 and above must take a test and quarantine after arrival until they get a result.
Non-vaccinated people are allowed to enter the UK, but must provide proof of a clear test result taken no more than two days before travel.
They must quarantine for ten days on arrival and take coronavirus tests two days and eight days after arrival.
Visitors to the Azores over the age of 12 must provide proof of a clear coronavirus test taken 72 hours before they board their flight or a clear rapid antigen test taken inside 48 hours before departure.
Portugal also requires a certificate for arrivals that shows vaccination, test or recovery results, as well as a passenger locator card for tracking Covid-19 exposure.
Arrivals must also fill out a questionnaire which can be found here.
When travellers return to Bermuda …
Residents can enter Bermuda irrespective of their vaccination status, but tougher restrictions are imposed on those who have not had the second jab.
All travellers have to complete a Travel Authorisation Form which must be bought one to three days before departure for the island.
Residents over the age of 2 are advised to have proof of a pre-arrival PCR test taken no more than four days before travel. Otherwise they will be required to quarantine until they get a clear Day 4 test result.
Fully vaccinated travellers can use an antigen test taken within three days of arrival.
Quarantine is mandatory until the result of the antigen test is known.
All unvaccinated children under the age of 18 travelling with a vaccinated parent or guardian must wear a red wristband from arrival.
The band has to be left on until they get a clear Day 10 test result.
Travellers can also take a fast-track PCR test on arrival, with the result available in a few hours, which avoids the need to quarantine for an extended period. The service costs $100.
Unvaccinated residents must complete a 14-day quarantine at accommodation of their choice — either at home or elsewhere.
Non-vaccinated visitors are barred from entry.
At a press conference today, Kim Wilson, the health minister, said border controls were necessary to block the virus from entering the island.
She said: “We’re doing all we can to mitigate the impact of the arrival of Omicron and Delta and other variants.”