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BVI restricts travel from WHO’s list of ‘special interest countries’

A section of Tortola. (BVI News photo)

As the highly contagious Coronavirus Disease seeps into the Caribbean, the British Virgin Islands has issued a travel ban to the worse hit countries.

There have been confirmed cases of the virus in the Dominican Republic, Martinique, Jamaica, French Guiana, Guyana, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, St Lucia, St Martin, Trinidad & Tobago, St Barths, the USVI, and Antigua & Barbuda.

“Cabinet agreed, effective Sunday, 15th March 2020, to suspend travel to the territory by visitors where that person has travelled to, from, or through affected countries as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its list of special interest countries,” Premier Andrew Fahie said in a public statement recently.

He continued: “Cabinet decided that visitors who travelled to, from, or through a high-risk country within a period of 14 days or less, immediately preceding the visitor’s arrival in the territory will be subject to enhanced screening procedures and may be quarantined for a period of up to 14 days.” 

Some of the worse hit countries has been identified as China, Italy, South Korea, France, the USA, Germany, Europe, and Spain.

“Your government is taking every possible step to try to prevent the coronavirus from reaching our shores,” the Premier added.

Tougher measures coming 

In the meantime, the Premier said that more measures are coming to protect the territory from the disease.

He said: “Stringent measures have been put in place and will continue to be put in place to do our best to detect the coronavirus and stop it from getting through our borders.”

“We will continue to plan. We will continue to educate through awareness. And, we will continue to be vigilant because this is who we are as people of the Virgin Islands. In the worst-case scenario of a positive case presenting itself, if it comes, we will do all that we can as a people working together to manage it,” he added.

Premier Fahie then called for unity in the territory at this time.

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13 Comments

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  1. Important says:

    I think isolation and quarantine should be done to everyone that travel period. Whether there is the virus in that country or not because one can get it from the airport that other people from the affected areas have travel so please if you travel anywhere just isolate yourself

    Like 33
    Dislike 1
  2. Gxxbmkj says:

    Ah1 ah2 Ah ching chang chong

    Like 3
    Dislike 4
  3. Class act says:

    So who’s talking to the many charter companies that has so many people still coming through the airport or by Private taxi. Just yesterday one in town had a lot of people.

    Like 5
    Dislike 2
  4. Anonymous says:

    This article was very difficult to determine who is banned. It mentioned many Caribbean countries, then went on to say the list was a WHO Special Interest list – which I can’t find anywhere, then went back to mentioning the US. Please update as to who is banned. People are still coming throug St Thomas and PR. Are they banned?

    Like 10
  5. Windy says:

    What about all the drug runners from down island and South America ? Are they being checked?

    Like 6
    Dislike 3
  6. smh says:

    them call all the islands that was infected so why st Vincent not there and they have it? no wonder he vincy ppl behave how they behave here in the BVI bc alyo for them!!!

    Like 2
    Dislike 5
  7. Cal says:

    What about the young spring breakers who are flying in and being let into the islands and hopping from club to club for the yacht week—they are from all over and are carrying the disease without even knowing it yet—it hasnt had time to become symptomatic until its too late—no respect for our population at all.

  8. Cobe says:

    Please check all the travelers who came on British Airways from the UK via Antigua for the past 5 days. I noticed that a PR was only issued for people who came on the 10th March.

  9. Donald Trump says:

    It’s very simple, folks. CLOSE THE BORDERS. Keep BVI safe. Then everyone can go about their business as normal.

  10. Mary from the US says:

    Serious question: would islanders preferred if travelers stayed home for a bit? We feel stuck between #flattenthecurve and #keeptravelstrong. Have been dreaming of our upcoming trip for months but the developments of the last several days have us wondering if doing our part means cancelling? What is the vibe on the islands? Thanks!

  11. Mary from the US says:

    Looks like we are out. Hope we can make our trip at a later date. Stay safe!

  12. Buddy says:

    I can’t find the WHO’s list of ‘special interest countries’. Can someone lead me to it please?

  13. Anonymous says:

    We had a charter scheduled in March that we had to cancel because of bvi travel ban. Very unfortunate, but we understand. Unfortunately, the owner of our charter boat is charging us a 15 percent rescheduling fee and forcing us to reschedule right now for a future date. Our question is when will the bvi open their borders agains?

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