Negotiating Bermuda’s borders

Clutching her travel-authorisation documents in a latex-gloved hand, Lisa Beauchamp stepped into the arrivals hall at Bermuda’s airport.

Travel in the COVID-19 world is fraught with anxiety, but Cayman Islands resident Beauchamp, the regional marketing director for the Yello Media Group, says she was reassured by an operation that was conducted with “military precision”.

At the gate, an official in scrubs, mask and “shower cap” instructed visitors to stay six feet apart, while another similarly-clad health official took the temperature of people waiting in line.

Once her forms – including evidence of a negative PCR test for COVID-19 carried out in Cayman – were processed, she was directed through baggage claim and into a designated area within the arrivals hall where a nurse took a swab – the first of four coronavirus tests she had to take during her stay.

“I felt very welcome, yet I was aware that my health was under scrutiny to protect the Bermudian population,” she said, adding she was required to quarantine for 24 hours while she awaited the result from that airport test. Once it came back negative, she was allowed to move freely around the island, but had to ensure that she adhered to social distancing.

A day before each new test she received an email with instructions on where to go.

“The tests were conducted efficiently, quickly and courteously. I am so impressed. I feel as if Bermuda is working hard to recognise the need to keep locals and visitors safe, as there is obviously a lot of concern about the borders being open but, honestly, they have put every measure in place to keep everyone safe.”

Beauchamp, who previously lived in Bermuda and is staying with a friend in the territory, said the entire population seemed to be on alert, with people wearing masks around town, in restaurants and at supermarkets. She said there did appear to be some concern about visitors bringing in the virus but most people appeared content with the measures in place.

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