Bermuda is further relaxing its travel protocols, now removing all testing requirements for incoming cruise ship passengers starting October 25. The easement follows the earlier relaxation of the entry requirements introduced on August 22. The much-discussed $40 Travel Authorisation will remain in place.
The first cruise ships that will be able to take advantage of the new protocols are Norwegian Joy and Carnival Magic, both arriving on October 25. Any ships with calls scheduled to Bermuda before October 25 must comply with the current regulations.
Bermuda Removes Testing Requirements
At long last, Bermuda is further easing its entry requirements for cruise ship passengers. Starting October 25, anyone entering Bermuda by cruise ship or air will no longer be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result.
From today, October 3, anyone going ashore in Bermuda will also no longer be required to wear a mask. Face coverings are now optional in all outdoor and indoor settings except health facilities, rest homes, and corrections facilities.
According to the Loop, Health Minister Kim Wilson: “Many people will be pleased that the regulations are being removed, but this does not mean we can stop being responsible for our health and the health of others. The coronavirus continues to be a threat to our health and well-being, though not as substantial as it was this time last year.”
On August 22, Bermuda announced a relaxation of the rules, which meant that unvaccinated cruise passengers were welcome again. The change in protocols that will be introduced later this month means cruise lines will no longer be required to perform onboard testing during cruises that are further than four days out from their homeport to Bermuda.
Instead of providing negative test results, cruise ship passengers that have not been fully vaccinated will need to provide proof of travel health insurance, which covers COVID-19 medical expenses.
Bermuda Keeps Travel Authorisation
One aspect of the Bermuda entry requirements will remain. The Travel Authorization, which costs $40, will not be removed. According to the health minister, the Travel Authorization has been a valuable tool for Bermuda in controlling the entry of cruise ship passengers to the island, comparing the authorization with a yellow fever pass.
Wilson: “I appreciate there will be many questions regarding the future of the travel authorization, it is important to recognize that health travel documents are not new to international travel. Certain countries have had entry requirements, such as proof of yellow fever vaccination, for a very long time now. The difference is that those types of entry requirements were limited to specific countries.”
Bermuda could still decide to remove the need for a Travel Authorization, but this decision will be postponed to a later date:
“In Bermuda, the travel authorization has served as an effective part of our COVID border controls. The Government will be having further discussions regarding Bermuda’s travel entry requirements, taking into consideration what is appropriate and necessary in light of the ongoing pandemic. We will announce those decisions before 30 November,” the health minister said.
Cruise Ships Affected by New Protocols
The first cruise ships to take full advantage of the newly introduced health protocols are Norwegian Joy, sailing from New York City to Bermuda on October 22, and Carnival Magic, sailing from Norfolk. Both ships will arrive in Bermuda on October 25.
Seven Seas Navigator, Star Pride, Oceania Sirena, Disney Magic, Celebrity Beyond, Norwegian Pearl, Enchantment of the Seas, and more, will also be able to take advantage of the new protocols.
Guests sailing the Atlantic Crossing onboard Carnival Pride will also not be required to provide a negative test result for their visit to Bermuda. This test otherwise would have been taken onboard before arrival. Carnival Pride is scheduled to arrive in Bermuda on November 2.