BVI News

BVI’s seaport operations marred by complaints

File photo of travellers arriving at the Road Town Ferry Terminal after the April 15 reopening of the territory’s seaport to international traffic. (Photo credit: Ronnielle Frazer/GIS)

In what seems to be a major setback for hardworking officials at the BVI Port Authority (BVIPA), operations at the Road Town ferry terminal last Saturday, May 15, appears to have been marred with a series of hiccups and confusion.

Visitors who experienced the new protocols rolled out on the day have overwhelmingly been discouraging others from entering the BVI through its seaports. Some have described it as their worst tourist experience ever.

Numerous reports have reached BVI News about a plethora of complaints made on social media by visitors who have endured what they described as nightmarish experiences.

Ferry overcrowding

Several travellers complained that although the passenger limit for daily ferries was announced to 50 persons, a little more than 100 persons were allowed to board on a single ferry trip on Saturday.

The BVIPA neither confirmed or denied the overcrowding but reminded residents in an elective media release on Sunday that “only one daily round-trip ferry service … with a maximum of 50 passengers per trip is permitted for “this initial period”. That was the only subject discussed in the release.

Meanwhile, Saturday’s overcrowding coupled with apparent technological glitches seemingly resulted in a bottleneck which saw several hours of delay in processing passengers upon their arrival at the ferry terminal.

One traveller, Marius Nel, took to social media and commented: “New protocols official today. Not going great. Came in a 5:10 via ferry. It’s now 9:20 pm. Still not through. [The] holdup is apparently the tracking devices. Brilliant technology it is not. At one point, 120 people crowded together. Great COVID protocols. Poor employees trying their best. They got us pizza and water. Old people, young kids. I’d like to congratulate the genius behind the tech. Still about one to two hours to go. Can’t make this stuff up. Update. At last count, still 40 people to go. [Authorities are] currently doing about four to six people an hour.”

These complaints follow Health Minister Carvin Malone’s statement last Thursday, May 13, saying “it is highly likely that travellers will encounter some processing issues but must be prepared to be patient and understanding. Safety is a major priority.”

Positive tests ruin vacation for others

Another visitor, Jeremy McGranahan, complained that he and his personal travelling party have been forced to undergo and quarantine period of 10 to 11 days because someone outside of his travelling party tested positive for COVID-19.

McGranahan said his grievance about the mandatory quarantine order was that everyone who was in his group tested negative. 

“Like I said, we (seven of us) had tested negative on all our tests, received our email of clearance, went to the police station [and] turned in our stuff and had bracelets cut off, then received a call saying someone (not in our group) tested positive so we had to go back on quarantine for another 10 days,” McGranahan said.

“I REPEAT, DO NOT take a ferry! You’re counting on all those people to test negative; not just your group,” he warned.

BVI News sought a comment from Minister Malone to clarify whether this is indeed the protocol. However, the minister did not respond to our news centre’s call or WhatsApp message up to publication time.

It remains unclear whether steps have been taken to remedy the situation.

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  1. Wow says:

    What a fiasco it was.

    Like 36
    Dislike 1
    • Mad says:

      Don’t be mad. These people are slow. The politicians and the government workers are not the brightest group out there. Treat them and think of them as 5 year olds and you will be less stressed out. Just remember there is a COI at the end of the rainbow and prison time for many.

      Like 17
      Dislike 1
  2. Nonsense says:

    How cany you claim that the Territory is opened, day trippers allowed, yet you mandate one f**king trip from STT daily, with a limit of 50 people? HOW THE H**L WILL THAT WORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like 45
    Dislike 1
  3. Captain Flint says:

    Did anyone really think the opening of the ferries from USVI was actually going to work? The airport can cope with 10 people getting off a plane but 50 plus people getting off of a ferry – its bad enough getting off the ferry normally with huge queues so add the Covid protocols and logically it has to be worse. 50 was always going to be too many – especially if there was someone who tested positive on that ferry. If it was 120 that’s even worse.

    Like 39
  4. Its a shame says:

    We voted for some people who cannot get anything right because they have no experience in ever doing anything. This government deserves to be booted out of office for one incompetent situation after another.

    Like 77
    Dislike 5
  5. airport says:

    this is height of nonsense and shows we just can’t do much right. 9pm you say? Can somebody confirm that if there’s a positive on your flight if everybody have to isolate? Hey, lighten up, you’re going to rub shoulders with positive people. The same healthcare, taxi and hotel people have rona. Don’t talk about how many positives on those big flights where we sit for 3 and 4 hours in a sardine can. Lighten up BVI

    Like 36
    Dislike 1
    • Protocol says:

      Yes, it’s the same protocol for flying. If the flight coming into Tortola has a positive case, everyone aboard the flight has to spend extra time in quarantine. It’s so dumb. As if people all over the world aren’t in contact with positive persons in their everyday lives.

      Like 17
  6. Predictable says:

    So what did the BVI gov. officials manning the RT ferry dock expect would happen when the first ferry load of visitor arriving late Sat. afternoon on the first day without quarantine for qualified visitors?

    As usual they were not ready after 1 month of allegedly getting ready!

    Like 50
  7. statement says:

    Fiasco at its best! leave the Governments alone the world is theirs.
    The last time I check the Bible it said the sick be quarantine, and when they were cleanse, they were release . But they have the world upside down no body want to die but we commit murder, suicide, and witchcraft daily.
    However, who owns this world going to come for it all things will be settled. Like it or not !!!
    It is what it is…

    Like 6
    Dislike 7
  8. Sillabag says:

    That *** boy *** up and down bragging and acting like he can do what he wants… Look what they did on Saturday and got away with it… the poor workers in there like they was ready to drop down…Them had need to hear him bragging about the fiasco they cause. them ppl dont care about nobody!!!!

    Like 14
    Dislike 1
  9. Tourist says:

    I would have to say the floor staff did the best that they could however, they were not properly prepared. And yes, 120 passengers were on the ferry. St.Thomas was well prepared, no more than 5 minutes on line. 4 hours on line is simply ridiculous.

    Like 16
  10. heckler says:

    The one man gang got the whole place in a mess

    Like 17
  11. Atlantis says:

    They sinking this country slowly but surely, the purge going be soon

    Like 23
    Dislike 1
  12. Anonymous says:

    Boat owner needs to get a fine for disobeying protocols

    Like 26
    Dislike 4
  13. Rubber Duck says:

    As I and others pointed out at the timeout it’s inception, this bracelet technology is rubbish that has never worked and never will. We need investigation as to how massive amounts of tax payers money , $6.5 million in this case , are paid out to incompetent, untested outfits like the Jamaican company responsible for this fiasco. This is as big a scandal as the planes and we need to know who was responsible for awarding this contract and exactly why he or she did it. COI please note.

    Like 41
    Dislike 1
    • tourist says:

      exactly i never charged mine up and nothing happened

      Like 13
      • Wildlife Release says:

        A tracking device that doesn’t track.A useless, plastic bracelet that merely tagged me like an endangered animal released into the wild. Anyone can leave the tracking device charging the entire time and wear a shirt/jewelry to hide the bracelet. What is the point?

  14. WEW says:

    ” hiccups and confusion.” What else is new

    Like 10
  15. That's a contact I'd like to see says:

    The BVI portal/tracking bracelets. I believe it’s the same company.

    Standard total fiasco.

    Like 20
  16. We says:

    I just hope we are not the one who going to pay for their mistake

  17. @ be careful says:

    That *** lad is in overdrive so you don’t want to be at the end of one of one of his punches 😳

  18. 1st district says:

    I from the west, I going to inhabit little Tobago, when the VIP is out of government, I would like anyone to volunteer to come get me!! Thanks in advance. Ah set ah shitzzzz!!

    Like 5
    Dislike 4
  19. Big Shame says:

    This is not a good look for the BVI. Looks like the planning committee failed once more. WE NEED FORWARD THINKING YOUNGER ADULTS SITTING ON BOARDS.

    Like 20
    Dislike 2
  20. 7 days says:

    That quarantine time need to fo immediately. That is pure discreminatiin against no vaccinated Caribbean Brothers and Sisters. Shame on VIP Government.

    Like 4
    Dislike 10
    • Truth says:

      I tested and got my results back in less than 36 hours, so why are they in quarantine 7 days? Vaccinated people can catch and spread the virus too

  21. So says:

    So are we allowed to go if we have a negative test or not, why we not getting any answers

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  22. Confusion says:

    Y’all dont expect this to happen.. look what ferry company it was… them does follow rules…

  23. PT9 says:

    The Ferry company should be charged for taking on 120 people when they knew that it was only to take 50 people. As we all know by now the government doesn’t know what they are doing all they had to do was put on a second ferry for Saturday, this government is a Constance screw up, nothing they do seems to work out. The Ferry caused this mess and should be charged and suspended for at least 3 months but we know that will never happen, and this is why the UK needs to take over this place for a while, as much as I don’t want it enough is enough it’s not going to get better if we don’t have a change.

    Like 17
    Dislike 2
  24. vg resident says:

    Who approved using the Jamaican company who provided the technology. Fire him (her) Who allowed 120 persons to use a ferry on Sat with not enough personnel at the ferry dock. He or she should be fired. Gross incompetence. Tourists expect to be treated with respect and timely entrance. None of this happened.

    Like 16
  25. I was there says:

    Last people got through at 1 am. Employees tried their nest but it was not good.

    Like 10
  26. BREW HA HA says:


    Like 8
    Dislike 1
  27. Tim says:

    So lets say the port authority did nothing wrong and its the ferry company fault …

    does that solves the problem?

    the problem the capacity is 50 a day? what will they do when the cruise ships arrives?

    Everyone is talking about opening the BVI ..Since Dec 7700 people got it … that is 54 people a day.

    Mostly via EIS … doubling that numbers, tripling, quadrupling those numbers is nothing …

    they need basic change/rest to their philosophy and understand you can’t scale by working harder with current approach.

    You need something different.

  28. Failure says:

    Fail to plan.
    Plan to fail

    Like 12
  29. Rock City says:

    Check the behavior from the owner of the boat son!!! The man don’t care!!!

    • True says:

      And Port Authority will not fine them because the bored member one who worked for them onw time will not go for it. Too much conflicts of interest.

  30. Lol says:

    The premier allegedly had one if his colleagues who is also chairing most of his boards to give a multimillion dollar contract to his Jamaican friend to provide tracking brackets that doesnt work. COI and people going jail.

  31. USVI says:

    And the carnival that is the BVI continues…..lolololol

    meanwhile in USVI just TODAY, 1500 people came to visit. Yup.

    USVI killing it!

    Like 12
  32. Doh says:



  33. St.Thomas, St,John, st.Croix says:


  34. Tourist says:

    After spending so much money to get to the BVI, we got stuck in customs for 5 hours. If there were another ferry to the USVI, I would have gone back to the USVI that night.

  35. Hazel Benjamin says:

    When will this Government get it right?

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