Bermuda is closely monitoring the global developments of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) through the World Health Organization (WHO) and with our regional public health partners – Public Health England, Pan-American Health Organization and Caribbean Public Health Agency.
The current World Health Organization risk assessment for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is very high risk globally. It is advised that all countries prepare for the possibility of COVID-19 in their communities. Everyone has a role to play in getting ready and staying healthy by practicing everyday prevention measures like frequent hand washing, staying home when sick and covering coughs and sneezes. The World Health Organization has declared the current coronavirus situation as a pandemic. A pandemic is the increased and sustained transmission of a disease across many countries.
Surveillance for respiratory illness has been enhanced in collaboration with local public health partners. Persons with respiratory illness including fever and cough should call ahead and inform their health care provider of their travel history prior to attending for medical care.
This is a rapidly changing situation. Please regularly check this page for updates.
Data last updated 3:00pm 28 March 2020
|Port Health Monitoring||
|Self-quarantine with active monitoring||29|
|Self-quarantine with public health supervision||1481|
|Self-monitoring with public health supervision||895|
|Total tests sent||164|
|Results positive||22 (14 imported, 6 close contact, 2 under investigation)|
Self-quarantine with active monitoring: Persons with a high-risk travel history or contact are quarantined for 14 days after potential exposure. This quarantine can occur in their home or place of accommodation. Health personnel are in communication with these persons at least once a day to assess for the presence of fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. The mode of communication can be face-to-face, a telephone call, an email or other electronic method.
Self-quarantine with public health supervision: All persons entering Bermuda from 17 March 2020 are to self-quarantine with public health supervision. Health personnel are in communication with these persons over the course of the self-quarantine period having provided a plan for self-monitoring for symptoms and clear instructions for notifying a health care provider before the person seeks health care if they develop fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
Self-monitoring with public health supervision: Persons with a relevant travel history or contact that is not considered high-risk are to undergo self-monitoring with public health supervision. Health personnel are in communication with these persons over the course of the self-monitoring period having provided a plan for self-monitoring for symptoms with clear instructions for notifying a health care provider before the person seeks health care if they develop fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. This public health measure is for persons arriving prior to the required self-quarantine of all arriving passengers enacted 17 March 2020.
For anyone having questions or concerns about COVID-19, please call the helpline at 444 2498, available 9:00am to 9:00pm daily.
Information for Travellers
A travel ban is in effect from 20 March 2020.
A travel ban is in place, disallowing travelers to Bermuda unless the person:
belongs to Bermuda,
- is a resident of Bermuda or a dependent who has permission to reside in Bermuda,
- is a crew member of a cargo or commercial aircraft,
- cargo ship, or
- has written permission of the Quarantine Authority of Bermuda to enter.
All persons entering Bermuda, residents, visitors, and crew, will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days from arrival. Visitors and crew may depart Bermuda based on their travel itinerary if shorter than 14 days if they remain asymptomatic.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some persons may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell.
Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around one out of every six people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention and call in advance.
How does COVID-19 spread?
People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus.
The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others.
People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. Try to maintain at least one metre (three feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. COVID-19 is not spread by mosquitos, water, or food.
Should I worry about COVID-19?
Illness due to COVID-19 infection is generally mild, especially for children and young adults. However, it can cause serious illness: about one in every five people who catch it need hospital care. It is therefore quite normal for you to worry about how the COVID-19 outbreak will affect you and your loved ones.
We can channel our concerns into actions to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community. First and foremost among these actions is:
- Regular and thorough hand-washing with soap and water. If soap and water aren't immediately available use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
- Practice good respiratory hygiene. Cover your cough or sneeze.
- If you are unwell stay at home. Do not go to school, work or attend social gatherings.
Should I wear a mask to protect myself?
Only wear a mask if you are ill with COVID-19 symptoms (especially coughing) or looking after someone who may have COVID-19. Disposable face mask can only be used once. If you are not ill or looking after someone who is ill then you are wasting a mask. There is a world-wide shortage of masks, so WHO urges people to use masks wisely.
The World Health Organization advises rational use of medical masks to avoid unnecessary wastage of precious resources and misuse of masks.
The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to:
- frequently clean your hands;
- cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue; and
- maintain a distance of at least one meter (three feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing.
Policy guidelines for COVID-19 protective supplies
Upon proper declaration, Customs will make duty relief available to all importers for personal protective equipment and supplies (PPE) under CPC 4235, subject to the following conditions:
- PPE must be used only in connection with disease prevention and control (refer to “Disease prevention and control” below).
- Only PPE certified by the Director of Health (the Director) will qualify for duty relief (refer to “Qualifying goods” below).