Emergency US repatriation flight finalised
Another emergency repatriation flight between the United States and Bermuda will take off on Tuesday.
The Ministry of Tourism and Transport said the Delta flight would leave Fort Lauderdale, Florida with Bermuda-bound passengers at 10am and fly to Atlanta, Georgia, later the same day.
A ministry spokesman said that “the flight crew will remain on board preparing for the return flight and will later return to Atlanta with the new passengers”.
He added: “Considering the challenge of practising social-distancing within the aircraft confines, where possible, and without denying those who wish to board, the middle seats will be left vacant.
“Furthermore, based on an estimated 120 passengers and with no margin or mark-up, the ticket is priced at a cost of $1,000 per person.
“However, should fewer passengers purchase tickets there will be a surcharge and should more people purchase tickets there will be a refund.”
The spokesman warned that cabin crew would refuse to board passengers with symptoms of Covid-19 and any passengers who had come from a cruise ship would need to have a medical certificate to confirm good health and wear a face mask.
The US Consulate warned earlier: “There are no other outbound flights planned.
“Individuals wishing to return to the US must take advantage of the April 7 charter opportunity or plan to remain in Bermuda indefinitely.”
People who want to buy a ticket in either direction should contact Travel Edge at 299-8717 or e-mail Info@TravelEdge.bm.
Returned Bermuda residents will have to quarantine in a government-approved centre for 14 days.
They will also have to fill in a health declaration form on arrival or complete it in advance at https://forms.gov.bm/covid19.
The flight is scheduled to leave Florida three days after the Coral Princess, a cruise ship with 22 Bermudians on board, is expected to arrive in Fort Lauderdale.
The ship is one of three that made headlines because of confirmed Covid-19 cases among their passengers.
John Rankin, the Governor, said last night that an air bridge organised by the Foreign Office will leave London on Monday morning.
The British Airways charter flight will return about 140 Bermuda residents before it travelled on to the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas.
Passengers were asked to pay $620 each.
Mr Rankin said: “Places on the flight have been allocated in conjunction with the Bermuda Government office in London — I give thanks for their assistance in this matter — and priority has been given to the elderly, to young persons who need in due course to return to their families and other vulnerable persons.
“The flight is oversubscribed so there will be no opportunities for people who are not on the current allocation to buy tickets.
“But we do know that there are more people wishing to return to Bermuda and also a number of people here on the island who want to return to the UK, so we're working on the possibility of a second air bridge flight and, if successful, we will make an announcement about that in due course.”
Mr Rankin added that everyone who arrived on the flight would have to spend 14 days in a government-approved quarantine centre.
Mr Rankin asked families not to go to the airport to welcome relatives as it was closed to the public.
He said: “The important thing to remember is your loved ones will be back on the island, staying in a safe place and will be with you soon.”