Safe Return to Work after Travel Guidance

Updated September 22, 2021

The guidance* requirements are the minimum recommended for workplaces, but more stringent policies may be implemented based on the workplace’s risk assessment.

*As per Regulation 2 of the Public Health (COVID-19 Emergency Powers) Regulations 2020

Many countries have put in place travel or border restrictions, and new restrictions may be imposed with little warning. Travel plans may be severely disrupted and you may be forced to remain outside of Bermuda longer than expected.

Employers should develop travel policies for staff taking into consideration the COVID-19 pandemic, the risk level of your employment and the staff redundancy you have in place.

The Government of Bermuda requires all returning residents to receive a PCR COVID-19 test upon arrival in Bermuda in addition to subsequent tests. Further information about travel requirements is available here.

Employer Considerations

Testing requirements at the border have been implemented to balance safeguarding Bermuda, while re-opening the border to returning residents and visitors. Travel is often required for medical purposes and the testing regime instituted was to identify key points where a traveller may become positive for COVID-19.

As an employer, however, you must take into consideration a number of factors before your employees return to work after travel, even with the testing regimes in place.

As an employer you should:

1. Develop a policy on travel and returning to work as part of your Emergency Response Plan. Your return to work policy should include:

  • The employer’s position on travel – essential travel should be allowed with the required testing and adherence to quarantine requirements.
  • How the employer will handle the requirements of immunised travellers – i.e. workplace isolation, confirmation of immunisation.
  • The employee’s notification requirements – ensure an employee knows who to report to before and after essential travel.
  • Employees should be aware of their close contacts who, if travelling to Bermuda, could affect their ability to report to work if positive for COVID-19. This could be a member of their household (i.e. spouse, roommate, etc.) who travels.
  • Whether remote working is an option
  • Sick leave policy for prolonged periods or quarantine requirements
  • For schools and day cares: consider a travel policy for the children and their families.

2. Ensure your employees are all aware of the policy and have documented proof that they have reviewed the policy.

3. Assess your workplace to determine the possibility of exposure risk in order to put in place preventive measures. This should be done for each specific work setting and each job. Please refer to the Occupational Safety and Health Guidance for Employers during COVID-19.

4. Encourage your employees to register for the COVID-19 Vaccines at vaccines@gov.bm.

Employment Requirements for Immunised Travellers

An immunised traveller is someone who has received appropriate doses of a COVID-19 vaccine (e.g. two doses for the Pfizer Vaccine) and there have 14 days since the last dose.

If a traveller is immunised, they must:

  • Have negative pre-arrival and arrival test results or, applicable only to residents, negative arrival and day 4 test results before returning to work
  • Comply with the on-island testing requirements on day 4 and day 10.
  • Ensure they practice workplace isolation*
  • Not attend meetings where masks are removed e.g. a meeting where eating is part of the process
  • Practice all public health safety measures – wear a mask, maintain physical distance, wash hands regularly

Employment Requirements for Unimmunised Travellers: Recommendations based on risk level

All unimmunised healthcare workers/ essential workers who have travelled must quarantine at home for 14 days.

*Workplace isolation – staff should wear surgical/ procedure masks and any additional PPE, based on usual routine practices and wear the PPE at all times in the workplace (acute care and non-acute care), not just during client care. The workers should work in only one facility. The health care worker must not eat meals in shared spaces in the facility as they will have to remove the PPE to eat.

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