Tourism gurus back restrictions for unvaccinated visitors
Tourism experts have backed the Government’s plans to bring in extra restrictions for unvaccinated travellers.
The 14-day supervised quarantine for non-immunised travellers, which will come into force on June 6, was endorsed by the Bermuda Tourism Authority and the Bermuda Hotel Association.
Charles Jeffers II, the chief executive of the BTA, said: “Our island is an unmatched tourist destination, but it is also home – and the safety of our residents and visitors must remain our top priority.
“That’s why we support the Government’s new visitor arrival protocols created to protect the people of Bermuda and her guests.”
He added the BTA appreciated the “unprecedented challenges” the tourism industry faced.
Mr Jeffers said: “But these changes mean that, while the short-term impact will sting, we will be positioned for gradual recovery later in the season.
“Vaccinated travellers will feel safer under the new regime as will locals who will benefit from the additional border controls introduced as a number of new highly transmissible variants emerge.”
Stephen Todd, the BHA chief executive, said hoteliers understood “the urgency and the need on the part of Government to implement these stringent measures”.
Mr Todd added: “What we anticipate is it will lead to a keen interest on the part of our future visitors to go and get vaccinated.
“If you’re already immunised, you’re going to have a much easier vacation or business experience on the island than if you choose not to.”
Mr Todd said the BHA had encouraged “our colleagues to consider being vaccinated” – and appealed to people who had rejected the jab to get regular tests.
Mr Todd added the announcement was not a surprise to the BHA because of the recent outbreak driven by the B117 variant of the coronavirus.
He said: “We would love to see as many of our local residents as possible to take that step and receive the vaccine.
“We understand that it’s a personal choice. We also believe that given the science, it will work to our benefit.”