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Airport coronavirus test regime could be relaxed and Boston flights may restart

The Covid testing regime at the airport could be relaxed (Photograph by Akil Simmos)

The airport’s strict Covid-19 test regime could be eased as hopes rise for a restoration of flights from Boston, the transport minister said yesterday.

Lawrence Scott, added the Government was also considering whether to replace airport PCR tests for the coronavirus with faster antigen ones.

Mr Scott said the air link between the island and Boston was on course to return by the end of March.

He added a different approach was being explored, but insisted that the strict Bermuda regime was not a deterrent to visitors.

Mr Scott said: “I do admit that we do have to work on, and we are working on, streamlining the process so that we are more user-friendly to air visitors.

He added: “I don’t think that it’s a deterrent in the sense of I think that the Government’s priority is keeping our people safe.

“If you notice that, yes, Bermuda has been more strict than other jurisdictions from the beginning, but now the other jurisdictions are following the Bermuda model.

“So, is it a deterrent or our we setting the bar? I choose to say that we are setting the bar.”

Mr Scott said: “Right now we are looking at other jurisdictions, trying to see are we able to accept antigen tests for arrival versus PCR tests for arrival.

“We understand that right now it is in other jurisdictions.”

He added: “Although our testing capacity is world leading, other jurisdictions don’t enjoy that luxury or indeed that benefit – so we have to now see what testing regimes, what testing opportunities, or avenues they have that are readily available to the mass public.”

Mr Scott said it was hoped Boston flights would restart early next year.

He added: “As of right now, we are on track to have Boston connectivity restored by the end of March.

“We are leveraging our relationships within the industry to be able to provide more reliable and more consistent service to our core markets.

“We are working with air service providers and the airlines to see how we can best utilise them in conjunction with our air service development.”

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Published November 19, 2021 at 7:55 am (Updated November 19, 2021 at 9:51 am)

Airport coronavirus test regime could be relaxed and Boston flights may restart

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