Travel? Now? Yep. My husband and I needed to get our daughter to the UK to start her fellowship at Oxford University, and the only way to get through the thicket of travel restrictions was to spend two weeks in a country that accepts U.S. tourists and that is a gateway into the UK. Options, well, not many! But the best was definitely Bermuda, so we rented a house on the beach and packed our bags. Maybe you don’t have kids to transport over international borders, but you’re desperate for a change of scenery—consider Bermuda!
Organized Covid Response
To get into Bermuda, we had to jump through a few hoops. We needed the following in September 2020 to enter the country:
- Negative Covid test within seven days of departure
- Pre-vetted travel authorization form from the Bermuda government (an online process that costs $75 once you have your negative test)
- Follow-up Covid test at the Bermuda airport (a supremely organized process), with additional tests on days four, eight and 14 (all covered by the $75)
- Quarantine in place until you get a negative airport test result back (in our case this happened the same day we arrived)
Is it worth it? Absolutely! Bermuda has had few cases of Covid since the initial spike in the spring (blame the cruise ships), and they’re determined to keep it that way. Everyone wears a mask and uses a hand sanitizer before entering stores or restaurants, but that’s about it. It’s civilized and easy, and we’ve had this amazing sense of calm because we’re not worrying about every stranger who coughs nearby with an uncovered face.
A Needed Shot of Color
Even though we left a sunny and warm U.S., my mood this summer has been gray. The pandemic, the elections, economic and job stresses… the list is long and bleak, but in Bermuda the houses are bright and lively—pink, green, blue, yellow and purple—so just walking down the street feels like that moment in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy opens her eyes to a technicolor riot. It feels like a happy place to see all these colors, which is exactly what a vacation is supposed to do.
We Feel Wanted
Finally, in normal times, Bermudians are friendly and pro-tourist, but when you’re one of only a handful of visitors (our plane was 1/3 full), you’re treated like family. Everyone waves, toots their horns and is happy to advise us on the best fish sandwiches (Woody’s), snorkeling beach (Church Bay) and farm stand (Wadson’s). It’s nice to feel needed and appreciated!