The following statement was released on Friday, June 10, 2022, by Michael Dunkley, the Shadow Minister of Health…
The OBA takes some small comfort in the changes to the TA announced by the Government. The changes will make the process easier but the changes also create a two-tier system and continues to put Bermuda at a disadvantage when compared to competing and other jurisdictions.
Being able to start the TA process 30 days in advance is an improvement as is allowing cruise passengers to prevent a negative test at the pier prior to boarding. Where it falls short, and creates a two-tier system, is in not allowing air passengers to present a negative test upon check in at an airport before flying to Bermuda. As we have repeatedly said, the US allows this to be done for air passengers and we should do the same, avoiding the potential for anxiety and frustration as experienced by many air passengers to date and making our process simpler and competitive!
The longer the TA continues, and the continued attempted justification of it by the government, highlights the fact that it is all about the $40 fee the government collects from every traveller. Yes under the PLP government finances are in very bad shape and yes, the PLP has proven to be a high tax government but keeping the TA for the fee is not good for Bermuda and short-sighted.
The Opposition would not keep it for a fee but if the PLP feel they need the fee there are ways to collect it from travellers without attaching it to a TA.