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Quarantine changes for unvaccinated travellers

Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Unvaccinated travellers can quarantine at home for 14 days, starting from Sunday, the health minister said yesterday.

Kim Wilson told MPs that people who arrive on the island without immunisation will wear electronic monitoring devices and red wristbands.

They will be expected to test for the coronavirus only on arrival in Bermuda and on Day 14.

Ms Wilson said that the two-week quarantine in a Government approved facility was introduced on June 20 with an end date of September 30.

The policy later changed so that unimmunised travellers could “test out” and complete part of their quarantine at any accommodation.

Ms Wilson explained that in the latest outbreak of Covid-19 “local transmission of the disease far outweighs the incidence of the disease among travellers”.

She said: “This does not mean we can relax our border controls, however.

“The reality remains that the virus which causes the disease Covid-19 arrives in Bermuda via travellers.

“As we grapple with the current outbreak, we cannot lose sight of the need to keep our borders strong.”

She told MPs: “Therefore, the 14-day quarantine requirement for unvaccinated travellers will remain in place but they will be expected to quarantine at home after 30 September.

“To ensure unvaccinated air arrivals are not in any of the quarantine hotels by 30 September 2021, the last of the unvaccinated travellers to check-in will do so tomorrow, Saturday, September 25.

“Unvaccinated travellers arriving on Sunday, September 26, will access a new process when applying for their travel authorisation, and those travellers will be expected to quarantine at home.”

Ms Wilson added: “Please note there will be no changes to the travel authorisation or protocols followed by vaccinated travellers – and the majority of our travellers now are vaccinated.

“The travellers who undergo the 14-day quarantine will be fitted with an electronic monitoring device and a red wristband.

“They will be required to remain at their accommodation for the full period.

“The only tests they must have are the arrival test and their Day 14 test.”

She said that unvaccinated travellers must either quarantine at home alone, or have their household members quarantine with them.

Ms Wilson added: “The only exception will be for those with a medical certificate – this is unchanged from the current situation for medical travel.”

If unvaccinated travellers cannot quarantine at home alone or if their household cannot quarantine with them, they must stay in paid accommodation where they will be monitored as if they were at home.

The minister said household members who joined an unvaccinated traveller in quarantine would wear a red wristband until everyone in the home had negative results from a Day 14 test.

She added: “I am reminded that at the beginning of this marathon of a global pandemic, our main measure of success was that we would not overwhelm our health system.

“At this point, unfortunately, we are not succeeding.

“Residents, frontline workers, ministry staff, the third sector, local businesses, international business – all of us – we have to work hard and work together in this fight against Covid-19.

“The marathon is not over yet.”

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Published September 25, 2021 at 7:56 am (Updated September 25, 2021 at 7:56 am)

Quarantine changes for unvaccinated travellers

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