HAMILTON, Bermuda – The Bermuda government lifted a night-time curfew imposed just before Christmas on Thursday, but a US watchdog has advised travelers to steer clear of the island because of COVID-19 risks.
The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) moved Bermuda up a tier from Level 3 – high risk – to the top Level 4, classed as very high risk.
The change was made after Bermuda’s total of active cases shot up by 603 this week to a record 1,953 with two people in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
The CDC website warned: “Avoid travel to Bermuda. If you must travel to Bermuda, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel.”
The CDC added: “Because of the current situation in Bermuda, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants.”
COVID-19 curfew restrictions ended at 5 a.m. on Thursday, the Ministry of Health announced.
But other rules designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus – which has claimed 110 lives – will remain in force for two more weeks from Friday.
Health Minister Kim Wilson said early evidence showed the Omicron variant was more contagious but caused less illness and fewer hospital admissions.
She said time in hospital appeared to be “around half” of that caused by the Delta variant and credited higher uptake of the vaccine and booster for easing the burden on healthcare services.
Around 71 percent of residents have received two jabs of the vaccine while 50 percent have received a booster.