Bermuda to allow unvaccinated tourists
Bermuda's Health Minister Kim Wilson. (Photo: CMC)

HAMILTON, Bermuda (CMC) – Bermuda is to start allowing unvaccinated tourists into the island, effective next Monday, Health Minister Kim Wilson announced Wednesday night.

Under current regulations, unvaccinated non-residents aged 12 and above are not permitted entry to the island.

The announcement came as Bermuda’s active COVID-19 cases fell sharply over the last week, down to 144. Seven people are being treated in hospital but none are in intensive care.

The easing of rules against the virus follows the major step taken on April 1 of dropping mask requirements in many of the island’s public settings.

Unvaccinated visitors must take a COVID test no more than two days before landing in Bermuda and then test again on the fourth day of their stay.

Under the amendments to quarantine legislation, unvaccinated visitors must have valid travel health insurance to enter the island.

The island has logged 17,674 recorded cases of COVID-19 since March 2020, with 148 deaths attributed to the virus.

Critics of government regulations imposed during the pandemic say they have hurt the tourism recovery.

Although the vaccination rule for tourists is to be lifted next week, all arrivals — including residents — will still have to fill in a travel authorisation (TA) form before entry which costs US$40, down from the initial US$75.

The opposition One Bermuda Alliance has long called for the TA form – expected to rake in more than US$20 million for government coffers this year – to be scrapped.

Former premier Michael Dunkley has blasted it as a “stealth tax”, but Premier David Burt has said it will remain in place until next March.

Although Bermuda has seen a gradual increase in visitors in the first two quarters of the year, arrivals are still way below pre-pandemic levels, with 2019 having been a record year when more than 800,000 tourists came in by air and sea.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login

HOUSE RULES

  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy