The Ministry of Tourism and Transport advises that on the evening of Monday 27 April, a crew member of the MS Regal Princess, a Bermuda registered vessel, arrived on the island for urgent medical treatment.
The ship was en-route to the United Kingdom when a crew member sustained a back injury. Due to the duration of the voyage to the UK taking some 9 days, limited testing facilities onboard the ship, and the need for an immediate MRI evaluation, Bermuda, determined to fulfill its treaty obligations under the International Maritime Organization’s SOLAS Convention, allowed the vessel to anchor off the east end of Bermuda, and the crew member to be transported to King Edward Memorial Hospital for treatment.
The Ministry can report that the crew has had no contact with persons outside the ship for 28 days, effectively making their quarantine period far above Bermuda’s mandatory 14 days. Also on arrival, the crew member needing treatment was tested and found negative for the virus. Furthermore, before allowing the ship entry into Bermuda’s waters and as per procedure, the ship and its crew were provided a clean bill of health.
Despite this, all individuals involved in transporting the crew member to the hospital and all medical personnel providing treatment followed the stringent safety guidelines implemented by the Ministry of Health to prevent any possible contact with or spread of COVID-19. This included the wearing of full personal protective equipment.
The ship remained offshore awaiting an update on the medical condition of the crew member. If the crew member’s injury allowed, he would be returned to the ship. Otherwise, the Regal Princess would depart and arrange for an air ambulance to transport the injured crew member.
Following the MRI, it was decided the crew member could safely return to the ship and the MS Regal Princess continued its voyage at 12:45 am yesterday morning (April 28).
To be clear, the crew were quarantined more than the 14 day quarantine period mandated by the Bermuda Government and international health organizations and were exhibiting no symptoms of COVID-19. Furthermore, the sole crew member receiving treatment was tested and found negative for COVID-19, and all Bermuda medical personnel and individuals providing transport practiced stringent COVID-19 safety guidelines to ensure no possible spread of the virus.
Lastly, the public is reminded that under the International Maritime Organization’s SOLAS Convention, Bermuda has a legal obligation to provide medical treatment to international shipping.