The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised Americans not to travel to Bermuda because of the “high risk” of catching COVID-19.
The recommendation from the Atlanta-based government health agency warned that “persons should avoid all travel to Bermuda” as the island has seen a surge in cases this month.
The island is one of 175 countries that the CDC recommends should be avoided because of a Level 4 “Very High Risk” assessment status.
According to the CDC’s website, traveling to Bermuda could increase the chance of catching and spreading the coronavirus.
In late October, when Bermuda had recorded fewer than 200 cases, the CDC lowered its assessment of the COVID-19 risk in Bermuda to “very low”, removing the island from its Level 2 “moderate risk” travel health advisory list. But the total has now risen sharply to 547 cases.
The Bermuda government announced on Monday that the number of coronavirus tracking officers is to be increased. The move came after reports of people being exposed to the coronavirus – but not being alerted until days later.
The island recorded a further 20 cases on Monday from a batch of 3,008 tests taken over the weekend. In all, Bermuda has carried out more than 130,000 tests. Bermuda now has 251 active cases, with 83 under investigation. Five people are in hospital, with one in intensive care. Nine people have died — the last in May.
Bermuda has said it will keep its borders open to travelers from the United Kingdom, despite fears that London is at the center of a new strain of the coronavirus.
More than 40 countries have banned travelers from the UK after the discovery of the new strain, which is feared to be more contagious than the original virus. But British Airways flights from London’s Gatwick airport have been given the green light to continue to land in Bermuda.
Bermudians living in lockdown areas of London and the south-east of England can still travel over the holiday season, despite a general ban on travel.
A government spokeswoman has appealed to Bermudians in Britain to stick to the UK restrictions. But she added that overseas travel was still permitted for anyone living in a Tier 4 lockdown zone – as long as the trip could be justified.
The seven-day average of the real-time reproduction number has dropped to 0.87 and Bermuda’s current country status remains at “clusters of cases”.