Clarity sought on quarantine for New York travel
The Bermuda Government said it planned to clarify an executive order made by the Governor of New York that ruled travellers from all but 31 countries must be alerted to mandatory quarantine requirements when they entered the state.
International arrivals from countries classed as Level 2 and Level 3 by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention are also expected to complete a health form to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Bermuda was not among the list of nations, territories and dependencies exempt from the directive.
The US Consulate General said yesterday that the travel restrictions highlighted on Monday had been in place since March 20 and were “not new”.
A spokeswoman added: “Travellers from Bermuda are advised to follow the New York quarantine requirements which suggest to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
“Please refer to specific guidelines outlined on the New York State’s Covid website.”
She insisted the Consulate General “remains confident that the New York policy will be relaxed for Bermuda travellers, once state officials better understand Bermuda’s statistics and protocols”.
Travellers were advised to regularly check individual state policies.
The New York State website said that the executive order reminded international travellers from Level 2 and Level 3 countries “to quarantine and fill out the NYS Department of Health traveller health form to further prevent the spread of Covid-19 as countries across the globe experience alarming second waves of the virus”.
It added: “New York State has, since March 2020, required a mandatory quarantine for any traveller entering New York from a Level 2 or Level 3 country — that’s all but 31 countries on the globe.
“Since the CDC has continued to roll back their screening measures at airports accepting international flights, this measure is necessary to link travellers to the appropriate local Department of Health for contact tracing purposes.
“The Commissioner of Health will expand his Emergency Health Order which authorises the imposition of civil penalties if individuals refuse to fill out the required form.”
Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York, added: “The CDC’s decision to end enhanced screening at airports, coupled with alarming case increases in countries around the world, presents an increased threat to New York’s progress in the war against Covid-19.”
A Government of Bermuda spokeswoman said on Tuesday: “The Government is aware and is working with agencies to clarify the position.”
She added: “The position taken by the state of New York does not reflect Bermuda’s success in managing Covid-19 and, as such, the Government of Bermuda is working to immediately effect a change that is in keeping with the actual public health scenario in Bermuda.”
The CDC listed Bermuda among five Level 2 countries, where the Covid-19 risk is “moderate”.
It added that “new cases are decreasing or stable”.
The New York State website said: “The advisory requires individuals who have travelled to New York from areas with significant community spread to quarantine for 14 days.
“The quarantine applies to any person arriving from an area with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a seven-day rolling average or an area with a 10 per cent or higher positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average.”
Bermuda has had 181 positive cases in total, with the first two confirmed on March 18. The island’s population was at an estimated 63,919 in 2018.
Its country status is “sporadic cases” and the seven-day average of the real-time reproduction number is less than 1.
• For more information, visit coronavirus.health.ny.gov
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