Bermuda has entered a phased re-opening after its third wave of COVID infections. Working from home is no longer mandatory. Schools, leisure facilities, churches, gyms, outdoor bars and dining have re-opened. Limited personal care services are now available where masks can remain. Bermuda also expanded its vaccine programme with the goal of reaching herd immunity by the end of May or early June 2021. Please see below for details regarding the operating procedures for certain government offices and the courts.
1. Filings – updated
Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA)
All correspondence and application requests can be submitted to the BMA electronically.
Registrar of Companies (RoC) – updated
The RoC is not accessible to the public. Payments should be made by online transfer.
The RoC is currently moving to an online registry system that will facilitate all corporate filings and fee collections. Migration of data to the new system will take place from 27 May 2021 until 4 June 2021, inclusive. During this time the RoC will not be able to enter any further data and no applications will be accepted. The RoC is offering a series of webinars to provide training on how to use the new registry system beginning on 19 May 2021.
The Registry General offices are closed to the public. Customers are asked to communicate via email or telephone as the doors to the Registry General office are locked. When emailing applications, all fees must be paid by direct deposit or wire transfer.
IP Agents and customers can submit registration applications or any other documents for IP matters via email@example.com.
Documents requiring an apostille can be processed and certificates will continue to be issued digitally. Requests should be submitted via email.
2. Can searches be conducted?
Physical Company Searches of hard copy files are not available. Search requests must be submitted electronically using a RoC company extract form.
Searches of all Cause Books have been suspended. In order to assist law firms with being able to complete and/or advise on commercial transactions, a distribution list has been created to provide law firms an electronic copy of the Supreme Court Cause Book to show any new matters which have been entered from the previous search carried out. The electronic copy of the Cause Book is being distributed at 3 p.m. each Tuesday and Friday.
Registry General Searches
The Registry General are able to conduct searches that are submitted via email but please expect delays.
3. Certificates of good standing – if and how these are being conducted
Requests for certificates of compliance should be submitted to the RoC electronically. If the entity is in compliance the RoC will issue an electronic certificate via email.
4. Court sessions and position (including filings and hearings) – updated
The Registrar for the Courts of Bermuda has released various practice directions outlining temporary measures being taken to reduce the community spread of COVID-19. Members of the public are required to call or email the Court with any inquiries.
The following services are suspended until further notice: swearing of affidavits and certifying copies.
The following provisions are currently in effect:
- All trials (civil, criminal, family or otherwise) currently listed will not be heard in person and will not proceed via audio/visual means. These matters maybe de listed administratively.
- All hearings, mentions and first return dates currently listed will be heard via audio/visual means where possible. If the matter is unable to proceed viaaudio/visual means, it will be delisted administratively..
Payments can be made via online banking or over the phone by credit or debit cards.
The Magistrates’ Court opened on 10 May 2021 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The following provisions are currently in effect:
- All hearings and trials currently listed will not be heard in persion. If the matter is unable to proceed via audio/visual means, the matter will be delisted administratively.
- Jury trials are suspended until 31 May 2021.
- The Court’s delivery service is suspended.
The Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal Registries opened for filings on 10 May 2021 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Court of Appeal
The Court of Appeal resumed on 1 March 2021.
The Department of Immigration communicates with customers via email and telephone as the office is not open to the public. Documents are no longer available for pick-up from the Collections Desk and will be sent via mail instead. The Department of Immigration is only accepting online payments.
Bermuda implemented a digital nomad program on 1 August 2020 which offers a one-year residency certificate for those who want to work or study remotely (One-Year Certificate). This initiative capitalised on the rise of remote working, which has been accelerated by Covid-19. Hundreds of people have taken advantage of the program.
A successful applicant must, among other things, possess valid health insurance coverage and be able to demonstrate employment with a legitimate company, or their own company, registered and operating outside of Bermuda, or have substantial means or a continuous source of annual income. There is a fee of BMD263 per applicant.
6. Any travel restrictions
The Bermuda airport is open for commercial flights.
Prior to departure for Bermuda, travellers (includes visitors and Bermuda residents) must comply with stringent Covid-19 protocols which include completing the Bermuda travel authorisation process online prior to departure. Visitors must take a Covid-19 PCR test within 5 days (ideally 72 hours) of flying to Bermuda and any visitor who does not provide proof of a negative test result, will be refused entry to Bermuda. Bermuda residents are not required to get a test before travelling to Bermuda, but residents without proof of a negative test will be required to quarantine until they receive results from their day 8 Covid-19 test and wear a quarantine monitoring bracelet. Upon arrival all travellers will be tested for Covid-19 at the airport and are required to quarantine until their results are ready. Tests are also required on day 4, day 8 and day 14 after arrival. All travellers (residents and visitors) are required to wear a Traveller Wristband for the first 14 days of their stay in Bermuda.
If a traveller receives a Covid-19 positive test result or is in close contact of a positive person, he or she will be subject to public-health (Covid-19) regulations and must quarantine for 14 days.
Changes effective 2 May 2021
Effective 5 May 2021 all non-immunised travellers to Bermuda must quarantine in their accommodation for 4 days. They may only be released from quarantine after receiving a negative result from the Day 4 Covid-19 test.
The Bermuda government has issued guidance for immunised travellers. Immunised travellers with a negative pre-arrival and arrival Covid-19 PCR test are not required to quarantine but still must have Covid-19 tests on day 4, 8 and 14. Immunised travellers without a negative pre-arrival Covid-19 test or travelling from the UK must quarantine until they receive a negative day 4 Covid-19 test.
Travel from Brazil, India or South Africa
All travellers to Bermuda who are arriving from Brazil, India or South Africa or who have visited Brazil, India or South Africa in the 14 days before they arrive in Bermuda must quarantine in their accommodation for 14 days. They may only be released from quarantine after receiving a negative result from the Day 14 Covid-19 test.
7. Implications for economic substance compliance and residency
The RoC has advised that it will take circumstances surrounding Covid-19 into account when assessing compliance with the economic substance requirements pursuant to the Economic Substance Act 2018, and the principles set out in the applicable Guidance Notes. The RoC may therefore take into account situations where meetings or other similar compliance measures are not possible due to necessary travel or quarantine restrictions. Entities should keep careful records of all such circumstances, and should continue in good faith to ensure their ongoing compliance with the economic substance requirements.