CDC drops Covid-19 risk in Bermuda to ʽvery low’
A US health agency’s assessment of Covid-19 risk in Bermuda has been dropped to “very low”, it was announced this morning.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention removed the island from its Level 2 “moderate risk” travel health advisory list.
Bermuda is now one of 22 countries classed as “no travel health notice: Covid-19 risk is very low”.
Lee Rizzuto, the US Consul General to Bermuda, said: “The US Consulate has been heavily engaged on this issue, advocating for the island’s safety and highlighting protocols implemented by the Government of Bermuda to minimise the spread of Covid-19.
“The extensive protocols and testing regime continue to make the island safe for travellers and residents.
“The Government of Bermuda is doing an incredible job managing the island’s safety, and we’re happy to announce the CDC's adjustment to the country classification in light of Bermuda’s low risk assessment.”
He added: “The removal from the travel health advisory list is beneficial to the island as the Government, tourism and international business sectors seek to attract more visitors to the island.”
The Level 2 assessment meant that travellers from Bermuda were advised to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in New York, after an executive order signed by Andrew Cuomo, the state’s Governor, last month.
The US Consulate said today that all US citizens should read country specific travel advisories and US Embassy and Consulate Covid-19 websites for updates on the impact of the virus worldwide.
It upheld its recommendation for US citizens to be cautious if they travel overseas because of the "unpredictable nature of the pandemic“.
A Consulate spokeswoman added: “US citizens are encouraged to stay informed and follow updates on travel.state.gov and to enrol in the Smart Traveller Enrolment Program to receive timely alerts about evolving health and safety conditions in their planned destinations.”
Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, said this afternoon: “We were absolutely thrilled when we received this news from our partners at the Caribbean Public Health Agency last week, who worked with the CDC to secure Bermuda’s reclassification.
“Our team has been working hard to keep the island safe from Covid-19 and our efforts continue to be recognised internationally.
“This change in our status with the United States CDC, will hopefully encourage more visitors to come to our shores and continue showcasing our strong and resilient island home.”
David Burt, the Premier, added: “I would like to congratulate the Ministry of Health for their continued excellent work in managing the impact of the coronavirus in Bermuda.
“This change in our rating will be welcome news to our tourism sector and we will redouble our efforts to promote Bermuda as a safe place to visit.
“I would like to thank all of the international agencies who assisted Bermuda to achieve this lower rating including the Caribbean Public Health Agency, the US Consulate in Bermuda, and Government House.”
Glenn Jones, the interim chief executive officer of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, said this afternoon: “We welcome this very positive assessment by the CDC, which underscores Bermuda’s robust health and safety record on managing the pandemic over the past eight months.
“Bermuda is one of the safest places in the world right now, thanks to diligent testing and contact-tracing protocols.
“Surveys found half our visitors chose Bermuda for that reason and an overwhelming 94 per cent feel safe or very safe here.
“We welcome all travellers to visit our island safely and responsibly.”
For more information about CDC lists, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html.
Official guidance for visitors can be found on the Government of Bermuda’s website at www.gov.bm/coronavirus-travellers.
*UPDATE: This article has been updated to include comments from the Minister of Health, the Premier and the Bermuda Tourism Authority.