BVI News

Bi-weekly PCR tests for taximen transporting cruise visitors

Junior Tourism Minister Sharie de Castro.

Taxi and Livery Operators are expected to do a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test every two weeks and meet other requirements if they wish to transport visitors during the upcoming cruise ship season.

Speaking at the ‘Tourism Update’ press conference last Friday, October 8, Junior Tourism Minister Sharie deCastro said “operators are required to agree to bi-weekly testing as well as other requirements stipulated by the Tourist’s Board.

Adhering to these requirements would “deem them to be cruise certified”, deCastro aded.

The government will cover the cost of bi-weekly PCR testing for taxi and livery operators for the first months of the cruise ship season.

The Junior Tourism Minister also said the Tourism Board will work in conjunction with the Taxi & Livery Commission and the Environmental Health Board to host a series of sanitisation and disinfectant training which public transport operators must take part in.

This training will be classified as cruise certification for public transport operators.

Parents concerned about taxis transporting visitors then kids after

DeCastro said parents have expressed concerns in regards to taxi operators and the transportation of visitors throughout the territory. She said the parents are worried about their children contracting the coronavirus from taking public transport as operators are likely to provide services to both local and tourist passengers. However, the junior minister noted that the operators have to go through an intricate and extensive sanitisation process before they are able to resume operation after any trip.

“After providing cruise passenger transport, public transportation operators are expected to check out by stopping at a sanitisation and disinfectant station managed by the Taxi & Livery Commission and the Environmental Health Board,” deCastro said.

“After the sanitisation and disinfectant requirements, the vehicles will be inspected and relevant information logged, public transport operators will be officially discharged,” she added.

Managing Director of the Taxi & Livery Commission, Jevaughn Parsons said, to his knowledge, members of his association have not expressed any dissatisfaction regarding the protocols implemented by the government. He said they are eager to transport tourists as operations have dwindled since the pandemic started.

Bubble and test protocols for cruisers

Meanwhile, Premier Fahie said cruise visitors to the territory will have to follow COVID protocols. This means every passenger over the age of 12 will have to be vaccinated and those eleven and under will have to do a PCR test.

He noted some cruise ships will have a bubble to operate in and some will not have one. He did not disclose the exact location of the bubbles.

However, he said the Disney Cruise Line which is supposed to arrive on November 17 will not operate in a bubble. This is because the BVI is the first stop for cruise ships on that line and passengers would have done two PCR tests on board to confirm their negative COVID status.

In due time! BVI eyeing half-billion dollars ahead of cruise season


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  1. Meaningless says:

    It is ok for the Govt to legislate and make requirements around sanitisation and disinfectant, but as usual there has been no consideration as to how they will be regulated or enforced

    Like 17
    Dislike 1
    • HUH! says:

      The Taxi drivers should also be required to display confirmation that they have been vaccinated. no vaccination, no passengers!

      Like 36
      Dislike 7
      • elephant in the room says:

        This is proof that the taxi drivers are not willing to be vaccinated, and will be complicit in further outbreaks. This is the height of social irresponsibility, and they are being indulged by this spineless administration.

  2. Taxi drivers says:

    should be 100% vaccinated just like nurses and doctors..

    Like 30
    Dislike 5
    • Reasonable Man says:

      I fully agree. No other profession will have a much exposure to potential infected individuals as they. My feeling as well is that a visitor (and residents) would feel a lot more reassured taking the ride if they knew the driver was vaccinated. Even if visitors are vaccinated, their children will not be.

      Like 5
      Dislike 2
  3. Roll eyes says:

    She’s alive! Hello my wasted vote.

    Like 26
    Dislike 1
  4. nah says:

    should be done twice weekly

    Like 8
    Dislike 4
    • @nah says:

      I totally agree it should be done twice weekly. IF the taxi driver becomes COVID positive he can become contagious in a couple of days…. He could infect many, many people if the test is only done every two weeks.

      Like 9
      Dislike 1
  5. Thoughtful Sailor says:

    Last season, there were certainly drivers who complied. There were also, by my own observation, plenty who did not, abetted by visitors who did not want to, either. I rode from the airport, supposedly to quarantine, and the driver also picked up a friend. A family of friends asked for their own taxi, at the airport, per Government protocols, and weee told by the dispatcher that they would be sharing. Another group, in quarantine, were taken, by the taxi driver, to a bar for a drink, along the way.
    Human nature suggests their will be many who break the rules for the cruise ships. What mechanisms to prevent this will be in place?

    Like 13
    Dislike 1
    • BuzzBvi says:

      Government already breaking their own rules for Disney. Government business as usual of course. Rules aern’t really rules for them when there is money to be had.

  6. Hmmmm says:

    Complete WASTE OF TIME!

    Like 11
  7. No Sense says:

    So any passenger over 12 has to be vaccinated and the driver doesn’t ? Double standards as usual.

    Like 13
    Dislike 1
  8. Politics again says:

    Not a single soul will be checking to see if they do these tests. The VIP care only about votes. They are afraid to offend the taxi men because of their loud mouths and large numbers. This all this is. They are harassing everybody else to get vaccinated but those who will spend the most time with the cruise passengers do not have to be. Everything is politics in this place. Its sickening!

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  9. Anonymous says:

    Why only that segment of the community? Such should be national undertaking.

    For example, such should be a common practice for all students and teachers.

    As, due to the deadly virus, education is hemorrhageing from the loss of many good prfessional educators.

    It is not worth getting sick and dying for an under appreciated, thankless and under paid job.

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