[Written by Don Burgess]
There will be a “very limited” number of exemptions from the vaccinated travel policy to the United States, including for those seeking emergency medical treatment in the United States.
Comments from the American Consulate
A spokesperson for the United States Consulate told Bernews: “Passengers on fully vaccinated aircraft departing from any foreign country with a destination in the United States will continue to be required to show proof of a Covid test. -19 negative made within three days of departure. Derogations or exceptions to the vaccination obligation for foreign nationals will be very limited. “
The spokesperson for the US consulate added: “We have no further details to announce at this time. We will provide additional updates as new information becomes available.
Bermuda Hospitals Board of Directors Comments
A spokesperson for the Bermuda Hospitals Board said that with the United States and Canada only allowing entry to people who have been vaccinated, they are urging people to get vaccinated.
“We have no indication that the United States and Canada will grant exemptions to unvaccinated patients who require emergency care in their jurisdiction,” the spokesperson said.
“This will severely limit the options for unvaccinated patients who need this service. Air ambulance transport to other countries may not be a viable option for many conditions for which we refer patients. This is due to the duration of the transport and / or the capacity of the establishment abroad to accept our patients. “
Comments from the Coralisle Group
A spokesperson for the Coralisle Group said he was awaiting final guidance from the US Customs Border Patrol [CBP]. They expect updates over the next three weeks on whether or not people on medevac flights will need patient transfer vaccine documentation. But they added that unvaccinated passengers seeking treatment who fly on commercial airlines are unlikely to be allowed into the United States.
“For those looking for supervised medical care that will be marketed for scheduled treatment, they will most likely be required to follow the guidelines of the country they are visiting. However, for emergency medical evacuation, we usually request emergency medical parole if they are traveling to the United States through CBP.
“Insurers have no control over the granting of emergency medical parole, but will certainly make the necessary attempts. We would follow our normal protocol that we follow today when someone needs emergency medical evacuation and asks us to apply for emergency medical parole clearance, but it is up to the United States CBP to ” grant any authorization for emergency medical parole.
Comments from BF&M
Michelle Jackson, EVP Head of Life at BF&M, told Bernews: “We don’t know at this time if there will be any exceptions for medical travel. [particularly for those who are medically unable to get vaccinated], including emergency transport. In the event that there are no exceptions to the US travel policy, care options are available for our insureds. BF & M’s healthcare provider network spans the Caribbean, Canada and the UK for treatment.
Regarding possible cost factors, if other arrangements are to be made with a non-US jurisdiction, Ms Jackson said: “There are many variables that determine costs, and these may not be higher simply because of the cost. potential blocking of access to the United States. BF&M works with our overseas case management team to achieve the best clinical care at competitive prices, regardless of jurisdiction.
“Flight time is not the only factor determining the cost of a flight; the complexity of care and the support staff required are additional considerations that we are dealing with today. If new flight destinations are needed, BF&M will continue to work with our partners to control costs and keep the interests of our policyholders at heart.
Peter Muir, vice president of operations, Argus Americas, said his company has already helped residents get medical care in Canada.
“Unvaccinated travelers seeking treatment in Canada can apply to Global Affairs Canada for a national interest exemption letter,” Muir told Bernews. “This exemption is subject to review and approval prior to travel. Members must produce a negative test result within 72 hours and must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, which may result in additional costs to the member. It is important to note that it is within the right of the Canadian government to refuse the request.
He added that patients could also seek medical attention in the UK if the US refuses unvaccinated medical travelers. However, the procedures are a little more numerous than for entering Canada.
These procedures include:
Currently, if you are not fully vaccinated, you should do the following before traveling to England:
- Test negative within 72 hours of arrival
- Book and pay for Covid-19 Day 2 and Day 8 testing [to be taken after arrival in England]
- Complete a passenger tracking form
After arriving in England, you must:
Quarantine at home or in the place where you are staying for 10 days
- Take your pre-booked Covid-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8
- If you are in England for less than 10 days, you must quarantine yourself for the duration of your stay. You must also book the day 2 and day 8 travel tests [which you only need to take if you are still in England on those days]
Mr. Muir said if alternative destinations in the United States were needed, he expected any cost changes to be “nominal”. What would be of more concern is the impact of medical treatment on residents.
“Access to affordable and quality health care within a reasonable timeframe is of the utmost importance and we are constantly striving to find alternatives if a particular country or state imposes restrictions that could impact this access. . Our policies do not distinguish between benefits or premiums based on a member’s immunization status, ”he said.
“However, that does not mean that the reimbursable expenses will be equal. Unvaccinated members may face greater challenges due to restrictions imposed by these countries. It is important that members seeking urgent treatment or continuing care understand how these travel restrictions will affect them. “
Update 11:23: Since we published this, the US media are now reporting that the new policy will take effect on November 8.
“The new US travel policy that requires vaccination of foreign travelers to the United States will begin on November 8,” White House deputy press secretary Kevin Munoz said on Twitter. “This announcement and date apply to both international air travel and land travel. This policy is guided by public health, rigorous and coherent. “
You can find more information at the links below from our dedicated website BermudaCovid.com, which is the most comprehensive resource and historical record available on Bermuda’s management of the pandemic.
- All graphics: Vaccine, tests and more here
- Deadlines: Dates of the main developments here
- Test results: table of test statistics here
- Vaccine: here the data concerning the vaccinations
- Dedicated website: BermudaCovid.com
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