While defending the recently-released COVID-19 protocols that will govern the tourism industry as of December 1, Premier Andrew Fahie has reminded critics that the BVI does not have the most stringent protocols in the Caribbean region.
The Premier made that statement during Tuesday’s media conference geared at clarifying a number of the protocols announced earlier this week.
He said his government even got confirmation from the United Nations Development Programme the BVI’s protocols “are more on the conservative side”.
“We have consulted all the technical experts that could be consulted,” the Premier said. “We have done a full analysis of nearly every Caribbean Island … Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia, Barbados, Dominica — we did a full analysis to see where we rank in this.”
“There are some that are more stringent. There are some that may be seen as less stringent but one thing is clear, every single country knows that they have to put measures in,” Fahie expressed
Since the announcement of the protocols that will govern the return of visitors, many in the territory have said they believe the rules are stringent and will deter tourists from travelling to the BVI.
Some business owners have reported a spike in vacation cancellations from would-be travellers since the announcement of the protocols.
Despite the criticism, Premier Fahie has maintained that the protocols are necessary to protect visitors and residents from another COVID-19 spike. He said he will not be bullied into making decisions that are not scientifically informed as he will face similar public pressure if COVID-19 claims more lives in the territory.
While other Caribbean countries are struggling to control the COVID-19 outbreak, the BVI with only one death, has one of the lowest COVID-19 death rates in the region and the world.
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