‘Virus-free’ Bermuda the place to beat US ban
Travellers stopped from entering the United States directly from a country on the American Covid-19 banned list are choosing to stay in Bermuda before going on to their final destination.
English chef Barry Tonks, 49, spent 14 nights at Aunt Nea's Inn, the historic bed and breakfast in St George's, before flying to the US on JetBlue yesterday.
He is en route to a job at the Rockaway Beach Resort, a new hotel in New Jersey.
Mr Tonks would have been denied entry to the US if he had travelled directly from London. The restriction applies to travellers who have been in a banned country during the two-week period preceding their planned arrival in the US.
He said yesterday: “I decided I'd come to Bermuda, self-isolate for 14 days and from here head to the US.”
Mr Tonks said a friend had similarly travelled to Cancún in Mexico before heading stateside.
But he said: “There was a big spike in the epidemic there, so there was no way I was going to Cancún.
“I knew of someone else, a friend of a friend, who had done it in Bermuda, so I thought I would come here as well.”
Mr Tonks added: “I also came here because of the Bermuda tests. I had a Covid test in the UK beforehand, then was tested at the airport here as I came in, and then twice more since then. So I can head to the US with four negative tests.”
Mr Tonks, a first-time visitor, said he would “100 per cent” recommend the island to fellow travellers.
He said: “Bermuda has great weather, a great vibe, it's a beautiful place.
“I have spent most of my days at Tobacco Bay, and the whole experience has been great.
“The restaurants are great, too — I have spent most nights at Wahoo's, which is very good.”
Faith Bridges, the owner and general manager of Aunt Nea's, said Mr Tonks was among three solo visitors from Britain who had recently spent a Covid-related stay at the ten-room property.
She said the other travellers each stayed at Aunt Nea's for three days before booking an Airbnb property for their remaining time here.
Ms Bridges said: “They would have been here for 14 nights, too, but I was fully booked over Cup Match weekend. They are staying in Bermuda for 14 nights, though.”
She said the property had received three other inquiries of a similar nature from Britain but did not have the space to accommodate them.
Ms Bridges said the Covid-related bookings prompted Aunt Nea's to reopen two weeks in advance of its July 28 target date.
She said: “It's been my main income for the last two weeks, which is why we opened early.”