By Don Burgess
HAMILTON, April 26 (Reuters) – All non-vaccinated travellers visiting Bermuda will have to quarantine for 14 days from June 6, Premier David Burt said late on Sunday, tightening restrictions after a rise in coronavirus cases and deaths.
Burt announced a raft of new measures as Bermuda suffered its worst month since the pandemic began, with the Atlantic island in April recording 11 of its 23 deaths from the coronavirus and 1,118 of its 2,335 positive cases so far.
Bermuda has been hit by the fast spread of the highly-infectious B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant first found in Britain, and Burt said the government would implement stricter border controls to “reduce the possibility that another dangerous variant is introduced into our community”.
He said Bermuda will ban flights originating from Brazil, India and South Africa, while passengers who have travelled to those countries within the previous two weeks face mandatory quarantine for 14 days.
Travellers who have not been vaccinated will also face growing restrictions in the British overseas territory of about 60,000 people. From May 2 to June 5, all non-inoculated travellers will have to quarantine for four days, pending a negative coronavirus test on the fourth day.
From June 6, all non-vaccinated travellers will be subject to supervised quarantine for 14 days at a designated facility at their own expense. Vaccinated travellers entering with a negative pre-arrival test will not have to quarantine after testing negative on arrival, but must test again on days 4, 8, and 14.
“We must achieve long-lasting protection from the virus and its variants so that our healthcare system can turn its attention to much-needed reform,” said Burt.
He said 50% of people in Bermuda have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and he was hoping to have 70% of the population fully inoculated in the coming weeks. (Writing by Drazen Jorgic Editing by Mark Heinrich)
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