Govt To Charge Visitors For Covid-19 Testing

June 19, 2020

While the Government has been covering the cost of Covid-19 testing for Bermuda residents returning to the island, they intend “for a fee to be in place for tourists arriving in Bermuda once commercial airline services resume,” the Government said today.

A Government spokesperson said, “To clarify and expand upon the Minister’s remarks yesterday, while the Government of Bermuda has been covering the cost of COVID-19 testing for Bermuda residents returning to Bermuda, it is our intent for a fee to be in place for tourists arriving in Bermuda, once commercial airline services resume at L. F. Wade International Airport.”

Extract of the video showing Minister DeSilva’s comments:

Premier David Burt also addressed the matter on Twitter, saying:  “The Min was asked who will pay for tests, he stated facts: ‘The Government is absorbing those costs at this time, and we will continue to do so until we change it.’ Visitors have not been able to enter Bermuda since March, so it is factual that Gov has paid for all tests.

“The ‘until we change it’ is key, as we haven’t confirmed the fee that visitors will pay, but there will be a fee to cover the cost of providing this service to our visitors. Funny enough, we’ve had complaints from travel stakeholders of the proposed fee to be charged.

“Opening international borders isn’t easy, but we will do it while keeping Bermuda safe. We will test visitors and they will be charged a fee for the testing services provided on arrival and while on the island.”

The Premier also tweeted, “There has never been any plan for taxpayers to pay for visitor testing. He stated facts that currently the Government is paying for testing for residents; however rest assured visitors will pay a fee for their testing.”

The airport closed to regularly scheduled commercial airlines back in March of this year, however there have been a few charter flights and private jets arrive carrying returning residents over the past three months.

The airport is scheduled to re-open for regular commercial flights on July 1st, and the Government previously said that “as soon as possible following arrival in Bermuda, every passenger must undergo COVID-19 testing either at the airport or at their accommodations.”

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Comments (10)

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  1. Ringmaster says:

    Stupid. Either the PLP wants tourists or they don’t. Seems they don’t despite the Premier’s announcements. If you do then think outside the box and offer something others don’t. Give free testing, or a free night’s stay or a restaurant voucher.
    Otherwise keep Bermuda shut down and slash $200m from the Government expenses.

    • Warrior says:

      Use wisdom Premier and team and walk slowly. Remember the Tortoise and the Hare…Yup!!

    • Smh... says:

      Well said. If this government thinks people are coming here with the current restrictions then they’re living in a fantasy world. As a traveler I am not going to book and pay for a vacation to risk getting here, testing positive and spending my entire vacation in quarantine. Makes no sense! The average vacationer to bermuda stays for 3 days. None of this garbage is going to work. Call it your new normal all you want. People will have to be brainwashed or desperate to go along with this and take such risk. Government is just dumb! Open the country or not at all!

    • Hope Berg says:

      You either want tourists, or you don’t. If it is too difficult, or expensive, Tourists will go elsewhere.

    • Money over LIFE
      Sounds like Trump

  2. Navin Johnson says:

    I don’t think it will be a problem regarding tourists paying for tests….no one will be coming

  3. JAWS says:

    I’m curious to know what the competition or islands in the Caribbean are doing with regards to visitors arriving?

  4. My 2 Sense says:

    I fully commend the Bermuda Government for wanting to keep their residents safe. I stand behind this 100%. However, I do feel there needs to be some additional thought put into this. It is unrealistic to expect tests to come back in 72 hours, when in most places in North America, it takes at least a week to get results. Also, how many tests do visitors have to take while on the Island? So does that mean once a week or however long you are there, you will be continuously paying for tests? This does not seem fair or realistic, especially considering Bermudians as far as I know not mandated to wear a mask when they go out and about. Also, after flights, any hotels, activities etc that are going into the Island, there should be some sort of fair amount and not a ridiculous one, or health insurance should be allowed to cover this cost. You cannot honestly expect to receive the same or even close to the same amount of visitors, with the current requirements you have in place. If Bermuda is not ready to properly, safely and fairly open then by all means I would suggest they do not. Too many of us love your beautiful Island to not understand. What we cannot understand is paying for multiple testing. We don’t even pay for multiple testing where we are, unless we have symptoms. Why would I pay X amount of money to be tested on arrival, then tested during several periods of my stay and still want to go out and do ‘tourist’ activities. I’d rather stay in and not spend any money. Or better yet, stay where I am. Bermuda has a smart Government though, from what I have observed and I have full confidence that they will make this all make sense. For Bermudians and for the visitors they hope to have come back.

  5. Curious says:

    What about those cabin crew that stays in the island for a day or two? Will they be quarantined. Tested, or allowed to go around freely?

  6. July Traveler says:

    I am a US citizen with hope of returning to Bermuda for a third time this July. I have expressed concerns with the BTA regarding test results prior to departure and emphasized how difficult it will be to get a turn around in 72 hrs. It is not possible as many labs are off site and take up to 5 days to secure result. We understand the safety of the residents are a priority. We want to visit and are still planning to but I agree, if more stipulations and fees and longer times to isolate after arrival test are placed on visitors, the island will not have any visitors. Just terrible for those who want to keep their plans of travel and for those Residents who understand how much tourism is needed for your beautiful island to survive.