Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Authorities in Bermuda continuing to ease coronavirus-related restrictions as of July 20. Islandwide curfew lifted.

  • Alert Begins: 20 Jul 2020 09:54 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 03 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Islandwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions; increased police presence

Summary
As of July 20, authorities in Bermuda are continuing to ease restrictions that had been implimented as part of the territory's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), although some restrictions and precautionary testing requirements remain in place. In its latest move, the government in Hamilton on July 20 lifted the islandwide COVID-related curfew that had been in force since March.

Though passenger flights and maritime vessels are allowed to enter the country, authorities strongly advise incoming visitors to take a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test for COVID-19 within no more than five days prior to their arrival. Those who produce proof of having taken such a test with a negative result will not be required to self-quarantine while on the island; they will, however, be required to undergo additional RT-PCR tests on days three, seven, and 14 of their stays in Bermuda. All persons entering via L.F. Wade International Airport (BDA) will be tested upon arrival and required to self-isolate until the results are ready (typically 6-8 hours).

Travelers arriving without proof of having tested negative will be tested upon arrival, ordered into quarantine, and retested 72 hours later. Such individuals will be allowed out of quarantine only if both tests are negative. All travelers will be required to submit a form reporting on their health to authorities every day for the first 14 days of their stay.

All persons are required to wear masks while in public whenever social distancing is not possible. Gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited. Bars, gyms, churches and nightclubs are allowed to open with social distancing measures in place.

Business and transport disruptions are likely to persist even after most restrictions are relaxed. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
Restrictions may be reimposed or extended further should the number of COVID-19 cases increase. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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