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Stuck in limbo over quarantine mandate

Dear Sir,

I am writing to help people understand how the mandatory quarantine mandate (now effective June 13, 2021) is affecting people. The mental stress that has been caused by the announcement on April 25 of the mandatory quarantine in a secured facility has been exacerbated by the complete lack of answers and clarification for the process of exemptions up to this point.

There are people who cannot take the Covid-19 vaccine at this time that need to travel for medical purposes — for initial appointments or follow-up to procedures already carried out. When the Ministry of Health was asked over the weeks between April 25 and June 3 — three days before it was to be implemented — what the criteria would be for them to request a medical exemption for travel after June 6, the answers were as follows:

Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, one of the six approved quarantine hotels for unvaccinated travellers as of June 13 (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

1, The requirements have not been finalised

2, We will have the requirements closer to June 6

3, See below link to Bernews for exemption categories. (Included a link to Bernews from the initial announcement.)

4, The exemptions, including medical, will be announced in the press conference on Thursday, June 3. (No information was given at that press conference.)

Then, to postpone a week and still no confirmed information is a roller-coaster ride for those anxiously awaiting the protocols. These are people who are willing to follow the guidelines and restrictions, and who have not been properly acknowledged. I just don't understand the thought process.

There are, of course, many other people who are stuck in limbo with the proposed quarantine mandate. People who cannot take the vaccine, or are just too unsure about the reaction if taken, but are shielding and following all health protocols in the meantime. People who have waited to travel to see family members and are now in a worse scenario than if they had travelled earlier.

It's important to note that at the time of writing this, no other country that we fly direct to has discriminatory regulations that separate the immunised — specifically vaccinated — from non-immunised or asks vaccination status.

There has been an outreach to the Premier for communication, suspension and clarification of this mandate, but to no avail.

The Premier and his team have always recognised there will be a percentage of Bermuda residents that will remain non-immunised, as the target has been 70 per cent. As a community, we need acknowledgement that these residents are not of a different status, class or deemed outcasts.

ARLENE BREWSTER

St George’s

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Published June 09, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated June 08, 2021 at 6:39 pm)

Stuck in limbo over quarantine mandate

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