Rethink needed on pre-departure surcharges
The following was sent as a letter to the Premier of Bermuda and shared with The Royal Gazette
As a work-permit resident of Bermuda, I must first say that I truly believe the Government is doing a great job with Covid and I commend you for that.
Unfortunately, I need to complain to you about the new $300 surcharge for people with no test results upon arrival. I think this is the right thing to do for people that don't bother getting a pre-arrival test, but for those of us that go to all the trouble — yes, it's not easy getting tested in the United States and Canada — and expenses of getting tested but arrive when the test results are still not available and getting charged $300 per person, I think that's an insult!
I arrived on January 3 from a trip to Florida. I was charged three times $300 at the airport because I did not have a test result upon landing. I totally understand that there's a cost involved with the monitoring, etc, but laboratories in the US and Canada cannot turn around the tests within the five days the Bermuda Government is requesting, especially over a holiday period such as this one.
Bermuda either needs to accept the rapid test, allow more lead time or reduce the cost for people that don't have their results yet.
I'm in the same boat as a lazy person that didn't take the time to get a pre-departure test. I had all my documentation and proof of tests, but no results. I ended up getting the results at 5.46am on January 5!
We had our tests done on December 31 at 9am, which I thought would be enough time for a January 3 flight landing at 10pm. Maybe I could have gone on Wednesday instead of Thursday, but I'm not even sure that I would have received the results in time anyway!
I think the Government needs to rethink its position. I certainly know that all the people I've dealt with at the airport and on other communications with the helpline agree with me, and these are the people that are charged to enforce those rules!