Hundreds wait in line for Covid-19 tests

  • A line of people await Covid tests on Friday morning. (Photograph supplied)

Hundreds of people spent more than an hour of their Cup Match holiday on Church Street awaiting Covid-19 tests yesterday.

Some people waited up to 90 minutes to receive tests required under the island’s travel regime at the Anglican Cathedral in Hamilton, as a result of an increased number of travellers getting tested.

One man, who asked not to be identified, said: “The line stretched from the Cathedral, all through its grounds, down the steps onto Church Street, along Church Street and past the junction with Parliament Street.

“After our friends had been tested, they noted the line was at least as long again.

“They were told by staff that at least 500 instructions had been sent out to people to attend today.”

As part of Bermuda’s testing regime, anyone who arrives on the island is required to either remain in quarantine or undergo multiple tests over a period of two weeks.

But the man said that the Cathedral was the only testing site open yesterday, and it was only scheduled to be open between 10am and 2pm.

“No one is denying that thus far the Government has done a decent job of holding the virus at bay, irrespective of the fact that untested residents are being allowed on to planes with people who have had to provide negative pre-departure tests.

“That said, the system on Friday seemed to have been particularly disorganised and shambolic.

“I find it bizarre that this can happen, given that the identity of every person due for a test on a specific day is known beforehand.”

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health said today that the increased number of travellers had caused delays in testing and processing results.

She said: “The results of arriving travellers are a priority so persons can be released from quarantine with their arrival results.

“Therefore, there will be a delay getting results to people who attended the testing site at the Hamilton Cathedral yesterday. However, results will be sent by 5pm today.”

The spokeswoman added: “The Ministry apologises for the inconvenience to travellers awaiting their day four results to complete quarantine.

“Unfortunately, the increased volume and the public holiday has stretched the testing teams who are working outdoors in extreme heat with full PPE.

“The Ministry is due to open a new Hamilton testing site by the end of next week, which should better accommodate the volumes being processed daily.”