BVI News

Businesses threaten to leave BVI amid stringent COVID protocols

Finance Minister Andrew Fahie

Some business owners have threatened to shut down operations in the BVI if COVID-19 health protocols aren’t relaxed to suit their business needs.

That’s the revelation made by Premier Andrew Fahie in the House of Assembly on November 25, as he justified the government’s continued efforts to fight COVID-19.

“I’ve been under pressure as the leader of the territory by persons who have threatened to take their investments out of here if I didn’t let them do what they wanted to do business-wise because of certain health protocols,” Premier Fahie expressed.

“I wanna say publicly to those persons here that anytime you decide to take your investments from the BVI because you’re against some of the health protocols, it means that you’re only here for what you can get. And it means that you don’t care about the people or your staff or our safety because we didn’t put them to try to destroy your business. We put them in to make sure that you’re alive,” he added.

The leader of government business further said the government will not relax the COVID-19 protocols to suit the rich while others in the territory are pressured to abide by the stringent protocols.

“And whether you’re rich or money-challenged, COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate. So they cannot have special protocols for the rich and separate ones for the financially challenged. It is the same across the board,” the Premier fired at his critics.

Marine protocols will stand

He also sent a sound warning to tourism players in the marine sector who have said the four-day quarantine policy isn’t suitable for guests who stay on the waters.

Premier Fahie said this policy will not be relaxed as the government will not put lives at risk for a few who want to make money.

“I’m hearing persons trying to push me that they have persons on boats coming and they (tourists) can’t spend four days on the boat. Swim ’round the boat! Jump in the sea and swim ’round the boat! If you have a bubble area, make sure they don’t get in contact with anybody. And if we’re not sure about that, let’s reassess it,” Fahie said firmly.

“I cannot put the majority of the people’s lives in the Virgin Islands at risk for a few lawless people that just want to make money and still won’t be fair to their employees. I will not do it! There’s been a lot of people coming — I call them threats — trying to bully me to get me to do what they want,” the Premier added.

He continued: “Some of them leave very angry. Some have formed groups to come to pressure to put me in directions I know is not best for the people with our health.”

With five days to go before the December 1 reopening of the local tourism industry, the BVI’s COVID-19 protocols remain a source of contention with many claiming the rules will only deter visitors from travelling to the BVI.

The government remains adamant that the rules are necessary to prevent spikes similar to those in neighbouring countries.

At the same time, the government has urged the population to expect a soft reopening of the tourism industry as the travel industry is still trying to safely navigate the COVID-19 era.

 

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48 Comments

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  1. voter says:

    Enough of this arrogance!! Sit down as adults and come up with workable solutions and stop your tantrums!! Enough already..

    Like 62
    Dislike 4
    • Doh says:

      Uh oh…

      Dear Leader is getting upset. Don’t poke the bear people.

      It’s his way or the highway. Businesses threaten to leave, he says go. He doesn’t care that these businesses are supporting the economy, jobs, families, providing income, taxes, and putting food on the table and roofs over heads. No. Government is there to do that.

      Yup. Government will provide for you. That’s socialism and what he wants. But as we see in Venezuela, without taxes and revenue, the government fails. And the more it employs, the fewer there are available to work in the private sector.

      But socialist regimes do that to ensure they have the voters to keep them in power. Uh oh.

      Carry on.

      Like 47
      Dislike 8
      • @Doh says:

        You must learn the meaning of term before using them. Nothing worst than a media educated mind.

        If you don’t like socialism, then explain the systems of America and UK, for example? Suppose social security and medicare and good health care communist ideals.

        Learn before writing programmed political talking points

        Like 10
        Dislike 16
      • Local says:

        You sound stupid and those that agree with you dont give a s**t about these islands only money because that what you came here for, same old when government put rules you all against it , premier right if you want leave go and you all can follow also .

        Like 2
        Dislike 8
    • Sooo says:

      So Mr. Foy, this is your plan. It’s not a plan it’s nonsense and it’s keeping tourists out. If a tourist arrives on a Saturday, that is day “0”. He then remains in quarantine Sunday. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. He then gets his Covid test on Wednesday and the results take 24-48 hours. It’s the BVI so let’s call it 48 hours. This means that sometime Friday the tourist is released from quarantine. This leaves ONE (1) day of a 7 night vacation to roam freely, visit restaurants, bars, boating etc. If you Mr Foy believe this is an acceptable vacation for a tourist you should resign your position right now. You are not a leader and have no concept of what leadership is. Your just a damn I******t t****t.

      Like 29
      Dislike 8
    • Ko Kane says:

      Andy seems to be keen on some businesses.

      • Thoughtful Sailor says:

        I think it is worse! One tests AFTER the four days, so the test is on Thursday, and comes back on Friday or Saturday.

    • Blindman says:

      Premier you dont mind them barbados have a similiar rule , New Zealand 4 days quaratine 3000.00 US . Charter companies dont run the government these people need to no their place aint no w…. you right .

      Like 5
      Dislike 9
  2. LB says:

    Might as well we had stay closed. This D*****or has no clue how Tourism works and steady killing the lifeblood of the BVI everytime he open he mouth.

    Like 14
    Dislike 4
    • Local says:

      We dont care aint you all say belongers or bvi people dont know customer service so its the outsider thats making the noise they want money they dont care about no covid if covid comes with the money to them its ok once they making money , tell the company that threathen to leave to set up shop down island they not catering for us bvi people anyway so go.

      Like 3
      Dislike 8
  3. Only here says:

    Only here for what you can get is what fahie complains about.

    Remember when Wheatley said about the new expat program: what else can we get from them.

    It goes both ways.

    Fahie is as d*****est as Trump, treating expats like slaves but complaining of people want to use leverage.

    Like 25
    Dislike 9
  4. Anonymous says:

    Nonsense Andrew is talking right know it’s the same rich persons he is always bending the rules for

    Like 14
    Dislike 8
    • Truth says:

      It’s the same rich people that getting the tax breaks with social security..Nhi..etc(payment plans)
      While the poor people dont get any breaks and the rules and regulations just get harder as the day goes by

  5. Reply says:

    “I wanna say publicly to those persons here that anytime you decide to take your investments from the BVI because you’re against some of the health protocols, it means that you’re only here for what you can get. And it means that you don’t care about the people or your staff or our safety because we didn’t put them to try to destroy your business. We put them in to make sure that you’re alive,”
    —————————————————

    Interesting. There is a way to do or say things, and then there is a way not to do and say things. The above quote is imo an example of a way not do and say things.

    First, we have no idea what the Premier is talking about. He just presented this claim that presumably businesses are pressuring/threatening him over covid protocols without stating what the other sides demanded or what changes they sought.

    It’s one sided as it gets. We have no idea what those business owners complaints are. All we have here is Mr. Fahie’s opinion and position relative to them.

    Now, I think we all recognize and accept that we have to have some protocols in place to limit the spread of covid, but for Mr. Fahie to suggest that businesses that does not accept those protocols as he wished them to be is only interested in making money and does not care about the health of others is just simply the wrong mindset to have.

    I presume these businesses are trying to survive like all other business. Rather than taking a strong arm approach to those businesses, the Premier should be trying to work with them to resolve their grievances and or at least convince them why the protocols who has in place are necessary. I hear no middle ground, compromise if possible, or partnership tone in his rant.

    Why make such a statement when these businesses are as per him threatening to leave? Seems such talk is counterproductive. When businesses leave, what will the economy look like?

    Is he capable of rebuilding it? Will he find work for the unemployed the same way he promised 1000 job in a short time after election? I highly doubt.

    The Premier needs to be careful with his words. It is not in the BVI’s interest to have businesses close or leave the territory. The GDP has already shrunk for this year. It will get worse before it will get better.

    IMO, if businesses have irreconcilable differences with the government’s covid protocols they can always seek relief in court before they head out the door.

    We don’t elect kings, or have dictators in the BVI.

    Can’t see eye to eye, there is always a legal remedy. Let the courts decide the way forward.

    Like 54
    Dislike 2
    • Deh Watcha says:

      A very poor mindset and response by the Premier

      Like 4
      Dislike 2
    • @reply says:

      I’m just flabbergasted that so many expatriates choose to live and invest here in the VI when they consider themselves to be more capable, smarter, better educated and fit to run a country than Virgin Islanders. Why do such people choose to live their lives amongst those for whom they hold such low regard? Doesn’t that, at the very least, make their investment in the VI a questionable choice? It just doesn’t make sense.

      • Reply says:

        There’s a lot to unpack in your post. From my view I believe what has been going on in our country for some time now is a toxic brew of resentment between locals and the expat community.

        This toxic brew of resentment has been in part fueled by politicians and others. Other factors are inclusive of job opportunities or lack there off for locals as the expat population has expanded over the years, and increasing crime with an increased population.

        These issues have been simmering for years. Now it has reached this toxic brew whereby we have turn against each other in an unhealthy canabalistic way.

        For me, this is very sad to watch as I grew up in a different BVI whereby locals and expats lived and worked together and got along with each other. They were our teachers, nurses, doctors, and regular Joes and Janes.

        When I was a kid the world “deportation” was never used to my recollection. That was when the total BVI population amongst all islands was 16,000.

        Fast forward multiple decades and generations, doubling of the population and here we are. Many appears to have developed hardened and entrenched positions relative to each other. Ones’ sides action has let to the other sides reaction expectantly.

        So I see your position within the context of a changed and changing BVI where attitude like yours are more frequently being discussed openly. Your position is not right or wrong but in my view it is borne out of that societal dynamic I just describe.

        One thing is clear to me is: we are on the wrong course here.Our country cannot be at its best with all this tixic brew spilling…and that does nit include locals fighting amongst themselves which is an another ingredient of that toxic brew.

        Bottom line for me is this: A divided house (society) cannot stand. We have to be and do better than we currently are or none of us will be able to live and enjoy this geographically beautiful part of the world.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Priemer; has you government (or those that advise your) not come to realize that the main issue facing the visitor public is your portal application for visitation.

    To start with the portal does not work to this point. About 10 issues with the portal receiving information.

    Then the next issue is the 48 hour of uploading docs before travelling to BVI. Sir in this winter climate in North America and with flights being changed by the airlines daily, it is near impossible to abey and take a chance on this 48 hour rule; fore if your flight/boat is to leave for BVI and your entry certificate is still not in your hands then you lose your flight and your monies you paid for the flight. This is alot to ask of visitors Mr. Priemer. Please have a long look at this 48 hour uploading of information rule stating BEFORE YOU TRAVEL UPLOAD EVERYTHING TO THE APPLICATION…..THEN AND ONLY THEN TRAVEL.

    Like 29
    Dislike 1
  7. Really? says:

    Wow!!! The government has recently exempted some individuals from quarantine. Isn’t that a clear distinction in the COVID-19 policy?

    This government continues to contradict its self.

    Like 37
    Dislike 2
  8. Duh says:

    Dear Mr Premier,

    People are trying to make money so they can keep their staff employed so their staff be Fed and Housed.

    You may think this makes you look like you are looking out for people and may resonate with the voters in full time employment but not with the employees in the private sector who are living off 1/4 pay or less and the Government has done nothing since June to help feed them and their families.

    The SS fund needs to be paying out to these people each month because they are still hurting. There is still no light at the end of the tunnel because we still don’t have enough tourists to employee people or increase hours.

    The BVI and its people have a massive financial problem and the normal winter influx of money to the BVI is not going to happen in any significant way.
    Instead of ridiculous rhetoric please tell people how you are going to help them feed their families for the next year because the banks have ended their free loan / mortgage times.

    Get our your castle and walk with the little people for a bit. Your country is dying in places and many are being forgotten, especially the ones that would rather starve than go to FSN or Red Cross.

    Like 26
  9. LOL says:

    I wonder how the voters of the BVI feel 2 years later? I really wonder. That is all I will say.

    Like 30
    Dislike 3
  10. HAHA says:

    This is what happen when you put boys in man shoes.

    Like 27
    Dislike 5
  11. Prison says:

    This whole government deserves to be imprisoned, they violate more human rights than Iran and N Korea together!

    Like 23
    Dislike 6
  12. SMI says:

    When are we going to get it, the Priemer is a … so he is not going to listen to anyone. He needs to get rid of that Jack A C***** S–e and listen to the people.

    Like 10
  13. Wow says:

    And this is coming from the the Premier, Our borders open in days, they are still trying to get everyone gold sealed trained and STILL hundreds of unanswered questions. The portal doesn’t work, how are people getting to the sister islands. The wrist bands are only water resistant. No on e can advise where the testing on day will be don’t on sister island, do the people go to you or do you come to them ?‍♀️. Heaven help these people arrivjng on Dec 1st

    Like 18
  14. and it gets worse says:

    I’ll check back in 5 or 6 months and see what’s going on. Check out the morgue recently. Actually it didn’t have room for all the dear ones. Some explained and others, only heaven know the pressure that drop them down.

    Unless there is a revenue stream that the public don’t know about, this place is heading for the cliff mehson. When he say we loss 7% I felt it was a typo and he just read what they give him without making sense. Go expand the cruise pier and airport at a time when all the ship them park up and growing mold and not even LIAT have a booking for here as yet. The main flights are departures boss and the people you chase are heading out. A few friends of mine have been able to open their own businesses in their islands and they thank God they were able to work here, eat sardine and biscuit and take their time and build their homes. Each person you count is a percentage of the revenue loss so if ayo think it don’t count, think again.

    To you public servants who think your bread butter, ayo wait and see how this going go. Ayo day coming. It is youall who don’t know the plight of the tourism worker (waitress, chef, house-keepers, bartenders) and all who work in the industry who have been left without jobs and make your snotty comments. Your day is around the corner and you will know what misry feel like.

    Like 18
  15. E.Leonard says:

    The care, well-being, health, security and safety is the primary responsibility of any government. The economy will not rebound without properly protecting the territory against Covid-19. People has to live and eat but health, safety and security before fully relaxing the protective practices and reopening.

    Like 9
    Dislike 15
  16. Thoughtful Sailor says:

    Premier, I think you still don’t understand what problems your Government’s lack of initiative and timeliness has caused. Sure, people disagree on the specifics of protocols, or whatever. But the job of a leader is to bring them together. Instead, you have l**d and mislead about your plan, delayed everything until it doesn’t matter, confused everyone because your people refuse to learn about industries they then try to regulate, and on and on. You have ruined the mood of cooperation and compromise. It has gotten to the point where people are so frustrated, they react negatively when a more thoughtful LEADER would have been able to explain, convince, maybe twist an arm or two. But, from your government, all we get is disrespect. All you have do do is to look at the number of times you have kept the whole nation waiting for an announcement. Look at what percentage of time you, Premier, have been late to a meeting? I do know that you have been late less than 100% of the time, but what is the number? 80%? These are all signs of disrespect and disorganization, and they are not good places from which to try to lead and convince.

    What makes this so very sad is that, at the beginning, you were a real leader on Covid. You kept the Territory healthy, and you had almost everyone behind you. Even Dr. Pickering patted you on the back. But, there, you somehow got stuck and squandered the goodwill, the willingness for people to do their part, even the Territory’s economy. Squandered.

    Like 34
  17. Help father says:

    He could not even run a small — and we end up and gave him a whole country to run. We messed up in this one big time

    Like 17
    Dislike 1
  18. Rubber Duck says:

    Jump in the sea and swim round your boat and your criminals bracelet will be screwed. Hello.

    Like 11
  19. Stupps says:

    Don’t mind the blogging few Premier. The majority of us thank you and your Government.

    We see what’s going on around the world. We have to take care. Some countries with more money and ventilators than us have 14 day quarantine.

    Like 11
    Dislike 22
    • Right says:

      First of all, a comment under an article is not a blog.

      Second, a premier who doesn’t mind the noise or doesn’t listen to the people is a dictator.

      Are you seriously advising the premier to act like a dictator?

      Like 5
      Dislike 1
  20. Heckler says:

    This bungling of Covid is worse than the NDP after Irma. Lets just kiss the economy goodbye

    Like 10
  21. double standard says:

    All of this sound good but the reality is it have a list of people exempt from quarantine as if it’s impossible for them to catch it… so as per usual.. taking this with a grain of salt.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Dont mind the noise Premier. You are doing the right thing. You were elected to lead. You and your team will get the blame if you do what they want and then people die.

    Like 1
    Dislike 7
    • Heh says:

      Elected to lead , lol, if the local pop is only 20% and lets be generous and say that about 60% of that is old enough to vote legally that means he was voted in by about 4000 people out of the population of 35000 ( which i read recently ) so don’t be sitting there all smug saying he is a leader , most of us had NO say in the election of this mu***t. that is not a democratic gov at all , most of us don’t even count to this mega r****t , i haven’t forgotten his ” don’t trust white people they will stab you in the back ” comment , if a white man had said that you would never hear the f*cking end of it

  23. Upset says:

    Y expat have to wait this long process to get back to work

  24. Confusing says:

    Gov here is right to be cautious because we have so few beds. If twenty-thirty people really ill in January, we will all be feeling cautious. However, it is wring to try and spin this as though people are being capricious. As stated in earlier comment, people have had a hard three years and a nightmare 2020. They went through a lot for the good of the BVI in 2017/18 shoulder to shoulder with belongers, BVIslanders and visitors.
    Now they have to make survival decisions. It’s not just quarantine but all of the systems at the moment causing pain. Loads of financial services clients and residents have had to go to our competition jurisdictions.

    We need to actually facilitate our two main industries to prosper, as well as considering viable new industries, not hinder them. Businesses cannot sustain themselves here, or their employees, if business is drying up or wanting something else.

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  25. All of this says:

    All this and someone still bring the virus in. You can’t control s**t.

  26. Norris Turnbull says:

    Who do not like the BVI. Leave, fast, speeding like a jet. God will take care of us. Yes he will.

    Like 2
    Dislike 6

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