BVI News

$2.3M budgeted for 250 gov’t quarantine rooms! Different criteria for work permit holders

Government is projected to spend more than $2 million for the 250 rooms it has leased to quarantine returning nationals.

Health Minister Carvin Malone disclosed that figure in response to questions from Opposition Leader Marlon Penn in the House of Assembly on Friday.

“There are 250 rooms that have been identified for contracting from 12 properties at a total cost — if contracted for the full period, which is up to 14th September — of $2,357,000,” Malone stated.

The document containing the full details of all expenses was not disclosed to the public but was submitted to all members of the House. According to the minister, the details in the document include the number of units in each of the properties, the rate charged for each room, the contract period of each facility, the meal plan for each quarantined person, and the name of all the proprietors.

Government covering meal expenses

The information provided on the meal plan prompted Penn to further query whether the government was also covering that cost during the 14-day quarantine period.

In response, Minister Malone confirmed that the government was indeed covering the food bill as it is an obligation under the BVI’s Constitution.

He said: “It is important to note the whole concept of mandatory quarantine. Just like in other facilities, if you mandatorily have a person under quarantine you are responsible for feeding them. It is a constitutional issue that we have.”

“Those persons that have home-quarantined, who have chosen to come earlier and stay in their homes; that responsibility is not there,” he added.

Work permit holders to cover own cost

The minister, however, said government will only fund the mandatory state quarantine expenses for nationals, Belongers, or BVIslanders; not expatriate residents with no status. 

“It is a different criteria and a different set of responsibilities for work permit-only persons coming in, as they would have to underwrite the cost of being quarantined,” Malone stated.

No more home quarantined

Meanwhile, the minister said Cabinet has also decided to halt all further home quarantining.

“After the 15th [of June], a decision was made that we would not seek to have any further home quarantined space, only because of the cost of security and of the persons who have sought to violate this.”

To compensate for this decision, Malone said Cabinet has decided to contract up to 100 additional rooms if the number of persons returning warrants that capacity.

Initially, the government had announced that from June 2 to 15, persons who had approved private quarantine facilities were allowed into the territory.

Cabinet had decided that after the June 15 date, all persons returning into the BVI will have to undergo their mandatory 14-day quarantine period within a government-provided quarantine facility.

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61 Comments

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  1. Secret Bear says:

    Test them upon arrival and quarantine them until they get the results. It takes 24 hours. End this nonsense; other countries have found a way to let people in without quarantine, why can’t we? It would be monumentally less expensive. Oh wait, it doesn’t matter, because some government crony is getting a kickback for providing security services. Disgusting. Stop ——- around with people’s lives.

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    • facts says:

      they may have the virus and it will not show for up to 14 days that is why they are to be quarantined, they should be tested on arrivaland every 3 days as the machine is here for the job.

      • @facts says:

        You are correct. Seems here we want to boast how many unused test kits. As you said testing should have been more vigorous on returning nationals. Testing on arrival. Testing 3 days later. Testing again after the 14 day period. All results should be verified by Carpha before certificate of release being issued. As you said we have the equipment to do more testing, but due to the absence of policies to support this, machine catching dust. Never was a fan for using the self quarantine, best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

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    • MJ says:

      This has to be nonsense. Just make it a condition for the special treatment of early return and collect payment in advance for all the costs. Test included.

      • Concerned says:

        This special treatment is not appropriate.Why discriminating the treatment for returning expatriates? This is unfair once it is a mandatory restriction for all of those people arriving.

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      • Concerned says:

        IF the cost for this from tax payers for this project is so enormous, the treatment should be the same for all persons returning .To cut the cost , they can all be tested and release those who are free them as soon as possible and quarantine the rest .

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      • Testing out of quarantine??? says:

        Are they doing testing before they release these people out of quarantine after the 14-day period??? before they unleash them on the healthy BVI public???

  2. Tfm says:

    This is ridiculous. Why is the government paying for quarantine expenses? If you want to come back beautiful but at your expense you must quarantine at an approved location. Why would the government pay for food? If they were self quarantining they would be paying for their own food right?
    There was a mandatory lockdown here the government didn’t pay our rent? The government didn’t pay our grocery bill.

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  3. Laura says:

    Waste, waste, waste…BVI Govt past and present trademar..no wonder the UK refuses to support money advancement. When are we as a country going to learn to be proactive instead of reactive…Hurricane season around the corner.. is this 2.3M necessary at this time? Why not try rapid testing on entry, 24hrs quarantine, research best practice and implement not waste willy nilly..gosh, Lord help my country:(

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Why so much? I having real difficulty figuring out the thinking of this government.

    When revenue has dropped and continues to drop, one would think that it should be governing with prudence, conservatisim and fiscal responsibility.

    Instead, from ridiculous consuktacies and contracts, they are spending like kids in a candy store.

    I hope they open the territory soon and get the economy going, becayse the way the are spending, and less money coming in, the country will soon be broke.

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  5. Shake my head says:

    The government should of left them backside out! Them want to call here them country but yet still they overseas lol. Stupid locals

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    • GSE says:

      @Shake my head: uneducated low IQ idiot, are you aware that most of the nationals returning home are students studying abroad? My gosh, when God was sharing common sense you were clearly no where to be found. As a BVIslanders some of my people are really foolish.

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  6. Aaah Sah says:

    Aaah Sah. No projects like the hospital, pier park, the wall to divert the tax payers funds, so this is the way ….

    Aaah Sah.

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  7. Be realistic says:

    Our home was approved as quarantine space in June. We are tight with money right now as with everybody else. We have no problems in following strict quarantine protocols. I hope they reconsider home quarantine when we get back. Sigh

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  8. Yoyo says:

    Good decision, those home returnees should pay the bills

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  9. BVI Lawyer says:

    If it is because of the BVI Constitution that the costs of being locked up by the Government have to be paid by the Government, I will be surprised if the Government can exclude Work Permit holders from having their costs paid too. I think a Constitutional protection would have to apply to all people in the BVI, whatever their status.

    It would be an interesting Representative Action to run, to see if I’m right.

    In practical terms keeping work permit holders out for longer i.e. until Covid disappears altogether will cause more economic disruption, as they form such a vital part of the commercial work force.

    The measure must also be an indicator that we won’t open for tourism any time soon either.

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    • Hypocrite's says:

      This is that racism he was carping on about earlier, he hates expats and it shows, i hope he makes it so unbearable that we all feck off and leave these miserable people wondering where all the money has gone , its like ” feck off home but leave your money when you go ” you can’t have your cake and eat it

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  10. $&&&& says:

    So if people arrive after 14 Sept they don’t have to quarantine??

  11. See says:

    So some self entitled Belongers ignorantly defied the protocols so rather than fine or jail them ,as well as the incompetent security hired to keep track of them , we punish the very people who respect and abide by the laws of the land. In addition , work permit holders pay taxes, permit fees, and other fees .. more than Belongers,etc. The BVI is looking at an economic disaster if it continues with these border policies and will lose a lot of international appeal if these policies continue moving forward.If you dont want the value brought here by hard working and law abiding expats just say so. This passive aggressive systemic racism is not the BVI I have come to love for over 35 years and having worked here for more than 10 years. After 10 years yes this is home but the government is making it clear that outsiders are no longer welcome . Preparing to pack up .

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    • Stuppss says:

      Stop complaining and pack and go! Bye!

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    • @ See says:

      Go learn what racism is. No, not one single Caribbean brother or sisted is hated or disliked becase of the color of their skin.

      What we see and live is regional divide not racism.

      Stop claiming the white man’s disease.

      We were programmed over four hundred years to dislike each other, not because we are Black, but where we are from.

      Ddon’t keep falling for divide, conquer and rule tactic of the past.

      Last, Black people are not a racist race. Racism is a european construction and practice of hating one solely on the basis of skin color.

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      • HA ! says:

        The most racist people are the ones always going on and on about it , if you shut up about it then it would dissapear

        “Racism is a european construction” LOL do you know how racist your comment is , but no , black can’t be racist , your a joke

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        • @Ha! says:

          Ha! That god you didn’t teach me or wrote the books, as twisted, untruthful and onesided as they are.

          However, i suspect you know better than what you wrote. You just can’t help with your hatred for Black people. truth hurts you to the core when it directed at you and your kind.

        • Anonymous says:

          The ones who loves their bondage, let them remain bound. The ones who thirst for freedom, let them come and be set free.

  12. See says:

    Reconsider home quaranteen . Mandatory jail and $5000 fines minimum for violators…. no matter who you are .

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    • Wisen up says:

      This should have been included as part of the protocols in the first place rather than playing nice/politics with the returning residents just so the Govt will be viewed as “the Govt that cares”. You already have an idea that people in the VI (and in general) have the tendency to violate protocols during lockdown. What makes you think home quarantine is different ? Now, everyone that is trying to get back to BVI will pay the price for the mistakes of those few law breaking inconsiderate individuals. SMH

  13. Doesn't Add Up says:

    The budget doesn’t add up even if using the highest rates as an example.

    Cost per room – $250 per night x 90 days = $22,500
    Cost (3 Meals per day x family of 4 per room) – $125 meals daily x 4 persons per room = $500 daily x 90 days = $45,000

    Total = $22,500 hotel rate + $ $45,000 food = $67,500

    Difference: $2,357,000 – $67,500 = $2,289,500

    What other costs could be included in the $2,289,500 balance?

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    • Thoughtful Sailor says:

      Thats just for one room!!!!They are talking 250 room, so te average per room is much less; check your sums.

  14. Disregard my Previous Comment says:

    It may just add up (blame it on Friday for my previous comment)

    Example (if rooms are occupied daily with 1 person per room)::

    Cost per room – $200 per night x 90 days = $22,500
    Cost (3 Meals per day / per person) – $100 meals daily x 90 days = $9,000 x 250 rooms = $2,250,000

    Total = $22,500 hotel rate + $ $2,250,000 food = $2,272,000

    Difference – $2,357,000 – $2,272,500 = $84,500

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  15. No nonsense says:

    As a bvilanders vip government full ah it. But then we are a Christian society and that’s how I treat my brother. “Caribbean people it’s time to go to your homeland and leave da people dem place”. Go where you are welcomed!

  16. KEEP IT'S!!! says:

    This is ridiculous. Why is the government paying for quarantine expenses? Knowing fully that speaker of the house… own Leonard Security, which is a conflict. Telling ppl to call for security job, willfully knowing that you already have a security job in place. Only work permit and belonger’s. How many locals applied for the position and interviews and update none was hired. And then y’all’s saying locals didn’t apply for the position.

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    • Truth says:

      I know 10 people applied and only 1 got through so that really was a sham to make it seem like there’re hiring when they have security companies already in the budget

  17. vip heckler says:

    The only reason for the secrecy is cronyism

  18. Hotelier says:

    You will find the roommates are much lower than those quoted above. Hotels need this trade or some will go out of business. Two 5 star hotels on Tortola have already closed or become long term rentals after Irma . Some have never re-opened after Irma. Without top hotels BVI cannot attract the level of tourist we want. This government initiative kills two birds with one stone, quarantining returners and saving hotels.

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  19. ok says:

    UNFAIR! Plain and simple any way you slice it.

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  20. island man says:

    Expat are paying taxes too and work permit fees, why are you pressuring them right now. Some went away for medical reasons do u think they have enough money remaining to pay for quarantine. This is so unfair.

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  21. Tax man says:

    Everyone paying taxes in the BVI (Well those that are working in the BVI) so why is that tax money paying for only one set of people when both sets were contributing equally. And are those who were not living in the BVI but have status and are now returning paying their quarantine fees too? If not its very very wicked. Because they were not in the BVI paying taxes but now enjoying that what the expats paid.

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  22. Wow says:

    2.3 mil for housing people and ZERO for the unemployed and struggling businesses. Great job VIP!

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  23. Tired says:

    The root cause of many issues in the BVI comes down to one thing alone, Enforcement !

    You mean to tell me that because one or two people break the rules, Government has to change the entire process . Deal with those that break the rules.

    This behavior of back and forth doesn’t look good. What is really going on.

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  24. The next Haiti says:

    Why are BVI light years behind It her island sisters already open? St John Jamaica Bahamas all open. Where are the stake holders running the tourism industry ? What is going on and who voted for such corrupt politicians ??

  25. Really says:

    Discrimination.

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  26. Hmmm says:

    Well i do not have money to pay for quarantine so let me get my child and my stuff and leave.

  27. Scratching my head says:

    wondering if Myron was premier, wouldn’t he had the BVI shools open so the children could’ve continue their education. I shoulda never listen to picko moff talking bout drain the the swamp. Thats what I get. I wanted change

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  28. Tonge Fu says:

    Those who break the quarantine law should be made to pay $5000 and not only does that set an example that becomes a deterrent it pays some money into the quarantine fund. Spineless politicians make laws but chicken out when times come to enforce. True they are not the ones who enforce but I am sure they influence those who enforce.

    Now as a result you are going to force a man who has been out of work for four months plus to pay $1400-$2000 for quarantine on top of rent and the other obligations. If I was a work permit holder I would have returned, done my quarantine and pack my bags and leave. Obviously this is an underhand way to force people out of work. Unconscionable.

    Poor mankind.

  29. Millions says:

    So mandatory quarantine we had for 4 weeks and none of our food was paid for… stop wasting money. These people can pay for their own food. I feel like I should leave just to come back and have everything paid for.

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  30. The Nation says:

    To all those who saying the allocation of those monies is ridiculous…STOP AND THINK …the government is trying to revive the tourism economy (that is on life support right now) in some ways…duuuuh…it is needed…stop the nonsense..

  31. MAVERICK says:

    FASCISM: Evil has a face, we are in the hurricane season again and the storms of life, know not race nor face. Many kings will lose their castles, banks. insurance and telecommunications companies will vanish. Are Caribbean Expats your enemies? From where do you get the fortitude to call yourself a Christian Nation? God does not slumber nor sleep, your wickedness will destroy you. Your dirty secret is out. When the next disaster strikes, will you ask the one sheltering or feeding you if he or she is an expatriate?

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    • Not nice says:

      All you have to do when the next hurricane come is pack up and leave… for good!!
      Reading these comments on all news sites.. why are some of you wishing bad on the BVI? The same place that helped most of you to build houses/businesses back where you came from. This is a policy that was put in place, it has nothing to do with ‘who not from ” we have to respect the decisions made. Besides if you don’t like them like all grown adults we have options.. disaster’s happening all over the world. We had a bad hurricane and we overcome it!!

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  32. Anonymous says:

    that is true that have a budget because i had quarantine but same as useuall the food they giving by my company same to give to the affective in positive of corona virus here in hameem al masaood two months no work no pay also where did i get my allowance to buy something my food.

  33. GTFOH says:

    A lot of people are thinking emotionally not sensibly. You cant assume that these were persons that were here working for years that left the territory and were shut out after the borders closed. Why should government pay for quarantine for someone that is on work permit? Why should government pay for someone that may be on their first visit to the BVI to work? The people that are coming into the territory have not paid any BVI tax since March 22, 2020 and they may have been out of the territory longer than that as borders closed for other places earlier than us.
    It is just a privilege for an expat to work in the BVI but is a right for a BVI Islander and belonger to return home. That’s why it is not unfair to pay for a BVIslander and belongers and not people on work permit.

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    • @GTFOH says:

      I don’t understand how you are reasoning that people trapped abroad haven’t paid any tax. I’ve been working remotely since March, and trust me my tax, NHI, SSB deductions are being taken from my pay check… Meanwhile some belongers who don’t even live in the BVI and therefore pay no taxes to BVI Government get to come ‘home’ for free. Your version of fair/ unfair does not work as consistently as you may like to believe

  34. Check you see says:

    Look a little closer and see who all are benefiting from this. Just do your home work and you will better understand what is going here.

  35. fact says:

    A lot a them running from the Bob to come back home on ppl tax mmoney.A lot be up there struggliñg for years and going come back with nothing to offer.Antigua had to start charging them own nationals cause they tr8ed this and them was coming back eating out the place them had them..alwaysxwant something every minute..drinking up..no social distancing no masks…..vacation on the house.It nah work.

  36. Informed says:

    This is Taxation without representation. Get the non voters to pay the bills for everyone else. This is why most countries offer residency after 5 years so that they have a vested interest in the country.

  37. AHP says:

    How can you quarantine so many people? Who will clean the rooms and wash the linens? Housekeepers being in contact with all that could be infected and your entire facility be infected. Let people quarantine at home! Other islands are doing it why can’t BVI follow?

  38. Anonymous says:

    The Living

    Another sad showing of wanting to please voters and not doing what is right. Our government of the day instead of quarantining persons all over the Island,should have setup a single quarantine facility in one central location thus minimizing the spread should any test positive for the virus.

    Just saying

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