Updated: Jan 16
If you want to take your travel bug outside of the US (or wherever you are located and you are able to travel), I suggest going to Bermuda where protocols are in place for COVID-19. Keep on reading to see what you will need to do before, during and after your pandemic travel to Bermuda!
Remember, policies in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic may change. Please be sure to visit Bermuda's website to learn about their current policies. Also, be sure to check with your airline and your home country on their policies and procedures as well.
I visited Bermuda from the US at the end of November 2020 and below is a list of items required for me to complete prior to taking off from Atlanta:
Get a negative PCR test within 5 days before departure (previously 7 days). The PCR test must have your full name, date of birth, date taken, and PCR written on it. Also, it must show the name of the accredited lab where the test was taken. Pro Tip: I flew Delta there and they would’ve preferred test results within 3 days of departure which caused a little dispute at the airport. Also, be sure to have a copy of this to show at the airport and upon your arrival into Bermuda.
Apply for a travel authorization with the country of Bermuda. This form provides information of who you are and details about your stay in Bermuda. Also, you must submit your negative COVID test result with this authorization application. You can submit the application within 1-3 days prior to departure. Pro Tip: It costs $75 to apply for the travel authorization which covers you while in Bermuda for testing (more on that later). Pro Tip: Be sure to submit everything correctly the first time or you will have to pay the $75 again. Pro Tip: Be sure to print and sign two copies of this form to take with you and show at the airport and in Bermuda.
Obviously, you will pack the same items as you normally do when you travel. But in addition you must have with you the following while visiting Bermuda:
Masks: Your hotel may or may not provide you masks to wear. So be sure to bring plenty to wear on the plane and everyday in Bermuda. Pro Tip: It would be better if you didn’t recycle your masks for everyday use if you do not wash it.
Thermometer: You are required by the Bermudian government to check your temperature. I will share more of what you will need to do in a moment but just know you can’t do this without a thermometer.
While in Bermuda
From the time you arrive in Bermuda, you have to follow a variety of procedures to ensure your safety as well as the safety of the Bermudian residents. Here is what will happen after you arrive in Bermuda:
Upon landing at the airport, you are met by public health officials in hazmat suits. They will take your temperature before proceeding onto customs.
After the temperature check, you will stand in a ”physically” distant (yep I like that they use this term way better than what we use which is social distancing) line to wait and speak to a public health official. Once you reach this official, you will give them one of your signed copies of the travel authorization form, review your PCR COVID test and ask where you were sitting on the plane. You will get a temperature check form and documents to take an on-site test.
Afterwards, you will stop to speak with another official who will confirm your email address and where you sat on the plane. You will proceed through the normal customs process and pick up any luggage. Pro Tip: You will receive your test results to the email provided. So be sure it is correct and you check it!
Next, you will run into more public health officials who will direct you to a tent to take a COVID test.
You will then hop into your pre-arranged taxi/shuttle to take you to your stay accommodation. YOU MUST DO THIS as you cannot use public transportation, there aren't ride sharing services available and not many taxis waiting at the airport for unscheduled passengers. Pro Tip: You are not allowed to take public transportation until after you receive negative test results.
You must stay in your stay accommodation for at least 24 hours until you receive your NEGATIVE test results. If you are staying at a hotel, you most likely will be given a key card to access your room ONE TIME like I experienced at the The Hamilton Princess. This ensures you are in your room in quarantine for the required timeframe. If you do leave your room during this time, you will not be able to get back in your room and will have to go to the front desk. You may get room service for food during this time. Once you receive your negative test results, you will send them to the hotel to receive a normal room key. It took me about 10 hours to receive the results. If your test returns positive, you will have to remain in quarantine. I'm not sure of what else could occur but it is important to follow the country's rules to avoid repercussions. Pro Tip: If you plan to be in the country for an extended time, you will have to get tested every 4 days to ensure you maintain a negative COVID status. I left on my 4th day and did not have to do this. Pro Tip: If you do not have a travel authorization form, you may have to quarantine longer or pay a fine. Check out this site to learn more.
While on the island, you must check your temperature twice daily and write it down on a form provided to you upon arrival in the country. You can only check this if you bring your own thermometer as they are not provided. If you ever record an escalated temperature you must report it to authorities immediately. Also, be sure to wear a mask.
NEW starting December 2020, all residents and visitors MUST wear wristbands for the first 14 days of their stay to remind you about the risks of COVID-19 and ensure you are following procedures.
NEW starting December 2020, UK travelers MUST quarantine for FOUR days upon arrival into Bermuda. They may be released after receiving a negative COVID test on day 4.
Each country may have different procedures upon returning home. Please check your country's updated regulations to determine what you have to do in order to return home.
As for the United States, as of November 2020, there was absolutely NOTHING to do when returning home. No forms, no reports, no testing! When I landed back at home, it almost appeared as if a pandemic didn't exist. I was absolutely disturbed by this.
But to maintain responsibility, I got tested 3-4 days after my return which ended up being negative.
I hope this helps you in preparing for your trip to Bermuda during the pandemic. Please stay safe and healthy!
If you end up visiting Bermuda after reading this, please share with me what happened during your trip!
Thank you for stopping by!