Safe Return to Work after Travel Guidance

Updated September 7, 2022

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 3 of the Public Health (COVID-19 Emergency Powers) Regulations 2022

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

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

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 consider several factors before your employees return to work after travel, even with the testing regimes in place.

As an employer, you should:

1. Develop a travel policy and return 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.
  • If travelling to Bermuda, employees should be aware of their close contacts, which 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 daycares: consider a travel policy for the children and their families.

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

3. Assess your workplace to determine the possibility of exposure risk to put preventive measures in place. 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 a negative pre-arrival (all visitors) or (applicable only to residents) a negative arrival test if no pre-arrival test before returning to work
    • (note: there is no subsequent traveller testing for local purposes on the island)
  • Ensure they practice workplace isolation*if directed
  • Do 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 travellers: 

  • Have a negative pre-arrival (all visitors) or (applicable only to residents) a negative arrival test if no pre-arrival test
  • Have a negative Covid test on Day 4
  • Ensure they practice workplace isolation*if directed
  • Do 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

 

*Workplace isolation – staff should wear surgical/ procedure masks and any additional PPE based on usual routine practices and wear any additional PPE as appropriate 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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