The travel authorization will be in use until at least April of next year, however the Government is aware people have concerns about it, and they are having discussions about “simplifying the process,” as they look to how we can “reduce the restrictions at the border and adopt the position of living with the coronavirus.”
This was from Premier David Burt as he was speaking today during a live BNV interview where he answered a number of reader questions spanning topics including testing, Dr Carika Weldon, vaccination for children, SafeKey, curfew, his vacation time, tourism, minimum wage and more.
In response to a reader question asking “When will they get rid of the travel authorization [TA] for residents,” the Premier replied, “I do not believe that travel authorization will go out of use until the earliest, I would say, April 1st, 2023.
“I know that there are a number of concerns that people may have with the travel authorization. I know that these were discussions which were had in December of simplifying the process, enabling families to put various things together, make it simpler, and possibly even looking at transferring these particular items into an app.
“Those are all work streams in progress, because we recognize that from a competitive perspective, we want to make Bermuda an easier place for our visitors to visit.
“Wearing one of my hats as the Minister responsible for tourism, I recognize that Bermuda is not as competitive as we need to be inside the tourism space, and so the conversation, discussions that are taking place, are how can we look to reduce the restrictions at the border and adopt the position of living with the coronavirus.
“You will see changes to border policies that will make Bermuda more, I would say, competitive, and what you will see is that there’s going to be an increasing level of personal responsibility that are going to be put on members of the public.
The Premier added that “a person should not expect that the travel authorization will not exist until April 1st, 2023. That’s not this year, that’s in 16 months at the earliest.”
Extract from the BNV where the Premier replies to the questions about the travel authorization
Another reader asked “Can the TA become one form for family instead of all separate forms for separate individuals. And also lower the fee cost of $75, at least for children and seniors? Can the TA have an app like Verify instead, which is what the airlines are using right now?”
In response, the Premier said, “Your readers are certainly reading my mind. I kind of answered the question about one per family and that’s some of the things, the comments and feedback which have come from the stakeholders of Bermuda Tourism Authority and the Hotel Association in regards to that.
“In regards to the reduction of fees for the travel authorization itself, seniors, and also young persons, I do believe that there were differential fees that existed before, I’m not sure if there is one for seniors, but I certainly think that that’s something that we could consider.
“The government is going to be announcing by the end of the month what our strategy is going to be for the upcoming fiscal year that begins April 1st, as we have to reduce the amount of, I would say, energy, effort, time and public money that is spent on our coronavirus response and it’s necessary for the country to adjust for the long term, because we are not going to be able to maintain this level of defenses for the foreseeable future, in recognizing the coronavirus will be with us for some time.”
You can watch the full video here and we will post additional extracts/transcriptions as able.