Travelling During COVID-19: What do I Need to Know ?



While travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic remain, many countries have opened their borders. If you’re considering travelling overseas, you should keep in mind that travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. If you decide to travel, here are some things you can do to keep you safe.


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Planning ahead

Check the coronavirus status of your destination. Some countries require you to enter with a negative COVID test, some require vaccine certificates, and some may require you to quarantine on arrival.

It’s worth noting that healthcare systems experiencing higher numbers of COVID-19 cases may be overwhelmed and present a barrier to you receiving the appropriate level of care, should you require it. You can contact Bermuda Government or the embassy for your destination for more advice.

If you have not already, talk to your primary care doctor about the COVID-19 vaccine. Keep in mind that it takes approximately five weeks to be fully immunised with a two-dose vaccine (three weeks between first and second vaccines and two weeks after the second dose, for your body to build up its full immune response).

You should discuss any possible travel plans with your employer and make yourself familiar with their return-to-work policy. It is important to do so especially if you have to submit test results, stay longer than expected, or need to quarantine on your return. If you can’t return home on your original date, you will need to budget for potential extra accommodation costs.


COVID testing while you're away

We recommend that you research polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 testing facilities near your accommodation before you travel. Check the availability of no-cost testing options in your area by searching ‘free COVID testing near me’ and, if possible, pre-book your appointment to reduce your wait time. You may have to pay out of pocket if you have your test done at a private facility.


During your trip 

Here are some precautions you can take to make your stay as safe as possible. You should:

  • Avoid crowds or places where lots of people gather.
  • Avoid anyone you suspect might be ill.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitizer.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Wear a mask in all public spaces.
  • Use private transportation instead of public, if possible.
  • Try to keep six feet between yourself and others.
  • Ensure that your seasonal vaccinations are up to date.
  • Eat from drive-thru outlets or have food delivered. If you or your travelling companions fall ill before you leave, you should not travel.

If you are an Argus Health member and become ill with COVID-19 in Bermuda or overseas, Argus will cover treatment for the virus based on your health benefits plan. If you fall ill overseas and need medical care, whether in-person or virtually through telemedicine, contact the One Team Health emergency number immediately on 1-905-5322954. You can also dial the toll-free US number 1-800-720-7315 or email overseascare@argus.bm for advice and assistance.


Returning to Bermuda 

Residents aged two years and up are required to get a COVID-19 PCR, pre-departure test no more than four days before returning to Bermuda. While everyone will be tested at the airport upon arrival, the rules for quarantining are very different for immunised and unimmunised travellers (aged 17 and above).

 

 

Effective September 26, 2021

Immunised

Travellers

(two years and older) 

  • Must test on arrival, day 4 and 10
  • With negative pre-departure test, must quarantine until receiving negative arrival test
  • Without negative pre-departure test, must quarantine until receiving negative day 4 test result

Unimmunised

Minors (aged 17 or younger) of
Immunised Travellers 

  • Must test on arrival, day 4, 10 and 14
  • With negative pre-departure test, must quarantine until receiving negative arrival test
  • Without negative pre-departure test, must quarantine until receiving negative day 4 test result
  • Children under two are not required to test

Unimmunised

Travellers

(two years and older)

  • Must quarantine for 14 days at an accommodation of their choice  
  • Must specify if they can quarantine alone, or if sharing a household with others
  • Must book a test 14 days after arrival

 

You must also complete your Bermuda Resident Travel Authorisation Form one to three days prior to your arrival in Bermuda. You will need to indicate if you have had a certified negative pre-departure test, if you have symptoms of the illness, provide a valid email address, and agree to be tested in Bermuda. The Travel Authorisation fees are $75, per traveller. If you have Major Medical coverage (MM), are travelling for medical reasons and your treatment is not available in Bermuda, please contact OTH for information on reimbursement of testing and Travel Authorisation fees. 


Bottom line

If you choose to travel overseas, please make sure you take every precaution to have a safe trip and a comfortable return home.

For the latest Coronavirus updates please visit argus.bm/coronavirus or The Ministry of Health at www.coronavirus.gov.bm.