Efforts continue to get Bermudians left stranded abroad as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic back home, as students are “literally calling” the Bermuda Government’s London office “in tears”.
Speaking at his latest news conference on COVID-19 on Thursday, Premier David Burt disclosed that a local travel agency – Travel Edge, has “generously secured a charter flight by Delta Airlines” to “bring travellers who may be stranded in the US, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Bermuda”.
“There is a cost for this flight. However, the more persons who take advantage of the flight, the cost could be reduced,” said Mr Burt.
“If you have a loved one in the United States who needs to return home, direct them to coronavirus.gov.bm to complete the Returning Bermuda Residents form to add their name to the list.
“It should be noted that priority, both in London, and in cases from the United States are for persons who are students or vulnerable persons.
“Then it goes to people who are ordinarily resident in Bermuda.
“Persons who have moved overseas and are not normally resident and are lower on the priority list and may not be given seats on the flight given that there may be space constraints.”
Meanwhile, efforts continue to get Bermudian students in the UK back home.
“As I’ve stated previously, we have an obligation to help bring home every Bermudian who is stranded overseas by circumstance far beyond their control,” said Mr Burt.
“And as I’ve stated previously, some of the stories which you’re hearing that I’ve heard, are not good.
“I just got off the phone with Ms Kimberly Durant who runs our London office, and we have students that are literally calling her office in tears, because there are no services and support for them as their universities have shut down, and they are very literally the only person that is left on their university campus.
“The fortunate thing is that most of those students will be home on Monday.”
He also noted that all arriving passengers will be required to enter a government quarantine facility for 14 days.
“Whether travelers arriving from London, or the United States, once they arrive in Bermuda they will be mandated to enter a Government quarantine facility for 14 days,” said Mr Burt.
“The Minister of Health has signed a new order that requires this, and our Government has secured a facility, with more than 300 rooms to meet these required quarantine demands.
“I have heard stories of our seniors who are having retired have made the decision to vacation and have ended up in a city where they hadn’t planned to stay in and spending money on flight, hotel rooms, and food that they had not budgeted for,” he added.
“These are our people, and I’m happy that we continue to work with Government House and the Foreign Commonwealth Office to resolve their dire situations.”