BVI News

Decision to close local ports was tough but necessary | Even Premier’s daughters affected

Premier Andrew Fahie (BVI News photo)

While noting that he, too, is personally affected, Premier Andrew Fahie has said government’s recent decision to close all local ports of entry was difficult to make but necessary to protect the people of the British Virgin Islands.

The ports officially closed 11:59 pm on Sunday, March 22, and for at least the next two weeks, even the Premier’s children have no access into the BVI.

“I have two daughters away and we were thinking about bringing them back. And it is not an easy decision to make when you know your own will not make it back in because of a decision you have to make,” Fahie stated while speaking on national radio recently.

“We have to do this to secure the lives of our people and try as much as possible to prevent the coronavirus from getting to our shores. But, also, if worse case scenarios [happen], God forbid, [we have to] to also make sure that we can contain it because we only have a certain amount of supplies,” he further explained.

Domestic commuting still allowed

Meanwhile, though the BVI is closed to international traffic, Premier Fahi said domestic commuting is still permitted where persons can continue to travel between the islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke.

He also said persons who had previously arranged to exist the territory prior to the restriction will still be allowed to do so.

“This needs to be conveyed. So if there are persons who need to leave, you can contact the requisite authorities and those will be allowed to leave … That is one of the pre-authorised areas to help anyone who wants to leave the BVI,” the Premier explained.

The temporary travel restriction — which ceases the entry to all inbound passengers including nationals, work-permit holders and visitors — is expected to last up until Monday, April 6, at which point a decision will be made whether to prolong or lift the restriction.

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  1. Diaspora says:

    Like the 2018 pandemic Spanish Flu did to the world (killed approx 50,000,000 across the globe), the Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) another pandemic is threatening to ravage the globe. It is present in every continent save for Antartica. The world is at war with this virus; the VI is on a war footing and it must continue to take action to crush the enemy. It must keep the enemy on the run until the white flag is raised.

    The USVI, per an article in another online electronic paper, has 17 confirmed cases (St. Croix 8, St. Thomas/St. John 9). The USVI is a close VI neighbor with close interpersonal relationships among residents. Thus, it makes prudent sense to shut down immigration between both territories to protect the VI. It was also prudent to lock down the airport. Nonetheless, VI residents abroad should have been given a few days, ie, 3 days…..etc to get home before completely shutting the door. Further, the VI needs to shut down the whole territory and have every one stay at home. Per Dr. Potter, it has the capability to test so it should conduct mass testing to see if indeed the territory is currently free of Coronavirus.

    In addition to taking actions to prevent, contain, control and mitigate the virus, it must take aggressive actions to surge the capacity and capability of the health system and keeping it from getting overwhelm in the event of a major outbreak. An overwhelmed health system would be disastrous.

    Like 20
    Dislike 4
    • Smoke says:

      It was not 2018.

    • Big pep says:

      Not 2018, it was 1918

    • Hmmmmmm says:

      1918 or 2018?

    • Diaspora says:

      All: My baad; it should have the 1918 Spanish Flu, not 2018. Thanks for the catch and correction. Be careful!

      Like 11
    • wow says:

      Check your content validity

    • Hmm says:

      The Premier’s approach to shut down all ports of entry is completely wrong, as it prevents its citizens from entering the territory.

      Perhaps a model such as that of the Cayman islands could have been adopted, where citizens are still allowed but subject to a manadatory government quarantine for 14 days.

      University are closed in the USA and some students were getting ready to head home. Some people were enroute to the BVI and are now stranded. BVI IS THE FIRST PLACE THUS FAR THAT HAS BARRED ITS CITIZENS FROM RETURNING HOME. UTTER NONSENSE!!!!

      Like 3
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  2. Don’t worry Mr. Premier says:

    You had to do what you had to do to assure the safety of the Country. Your daughters will be ok. You and your wife have taught them well and they will be ok.

    Like 41
    Dislike 1
    • I agree says:

      Mr. Premier, the girls understand that you had to do what you had to do. They are going to be alright. My daughter is away to school in the States and I would love for her to board a plane and come home but, that is impossible to do so at this time.I heard that Tim Duncan is chartering a plane to fly home the students from the USVI that goes to college in the States.

      Like 18
      • Why says:

        Why are all these children in school in the US? Are they citizens of the US? What is wrong with the schools of the BVI? Are these privilege children of the privileged families. Please explain

        Like 6
        Dislike 11
  3. true says:

    by shutting the borders during the high season you have crushed my business and made everyone unemployed but BETTER this way than people dying in the BVI. Well done even though it hurts,

    Like 24
    Dislike 9
  4. As a parent says:

    With a son away at school, I understand how the Premier and his wife is feeling. I speak to my son everyday and he understand that as much as I would love for him to come home, it is best for him to stay where he is at. His father and I made sure that he have enough money in his account and he assure us that he have all the supplies that he needs and if he have to leave his apartment, he wears a face mask, rubber gloves and spray his clothes, shoes and the bottom of his shoes with Lysol spray before he goes back into the apartment.

    Like 19
    Dislike 1
    • Secret Bear says:

      Sory, but almost all of this stuff is useless “protection theatre.” Wearing masks and gloves can actually increase your risk of infection unless you’ve been trained to use them according to health care standards. Spraying yourself with Lysol? Come on. If you’re that worried, just take off your clothes, put them in the washing machine, and wash your hands.

      Like 4
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  5. well meh boi says:

    This premier is worst than Noah who closed the door on his own people…..Why cant our people come home and be placed under quarantine ??????????

    Like 1
    Dislike 46
  6. If says:

    The strip clubs don’t shut down, the Government have every right to shut them down. My children father is still frequenting the strip clubs and would not take heed, so for this he is banned from coming to the house because I have the kids under self quarantine.

    Like 23
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    • @ IF says:

      It take COVID 19 for you to ban him! Long time he should have been given his walking papers

      Like 21
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      • If again says:

        Maybe I should have explained myself more clearly. My kids father was kicked to the curb 2 years ago. When I said he was banned from the home, it means he is not allowed to come on his regular visits or just decide to drop by the house. He can talk to them on the phone. As far as his life goes, he can do what the heck he wants but for now, he is banned from being around the kids.NOW, IS THAT ENOUGH 911/INFO for you and the the 5 others that hit the dislike button? Enjoy the rest of the day.

        Like 10
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      • Gooddddd says:

        See how you people like to come to your own assumption and look like fools? If you had any type of common sense you would have understood the comment.

    • Where says:

      Where are these strip clubs and where are the young ladies from? They have work permits? I guess the virus is now added to the list of things you can acquire at a club.

      • Moose horns says:

        The bar East End with the strip club upstairs didn’t close. Same kindergarten in town and East she operating under the radar, higher prices but to help people who haven’t got child care. Fools should be shut down

  7. Hmm says:

    I hope this is ACROSS THE BOARD! I heard special favours are being called and certain persons are being allowed to get in through special favour. Hon. Premier I truly hope this is not true, and this is enforced NO MATTER WHO THE INDIVIDUAL IS!

    If we say we are taking this threat seriously, then let these people remain where they are!

    Like 16
    • Shorty says:

      It is certainly true. Many people called and asked and begged and was granted special permission to enter although the boarders are closed. Hence you can’t take these things seriously. No special favours should be called in a granted period. Stick to your decision you lock down stay lock down, don’t open for the favoured few. It is wrong!!!

  8. ports are open for Cargo... says:

    but why was a big ship turned away with cargo for the BVI yesterday?

  9. Native says:

    So my silly question is for how long will you keep the ports close as this virus have just hit in the Caribbean region and bot going no where so soon…yes precautionary measures is necessary but closing borders is only stifling the economy and many people would be jobless for a real long…. what I think the government needs to do is starting having discussions with banks and landlords to make sure an understanding has been clear for people who may become vulnerable to such situation….

  10. John of SD, wishful belonger says:

    100% smart but difficult choice! Stay strong!

  11. WOW says:

    I am really impressed with the Premier and this Government. Our Prayers are with them.

  12. Airbender says:

    where are the testing. without testing we are driving blind and would not know where we are vulnerable.

  13. :) says:

    The virus doesn’t come out of thin air. If you dont go where the virus is or make contact with someone with the virus there will be no cases of the virus. Our borders are closed so nobody will be bringing the virus in. Hopefully nobody with the virus came in before the restrictions were put in place. Also thank you to Bobby’s for setting a good example of prevention by having customers washing their hands before entering their premises.

    • Yeah says:

      Bobby’s are doing a good job and they have people cleaning and sanitizing the hand baskets and carts. I am impressed.

  14. ok says:

    Wonder where all the self-isolated people are limin tonight…. Ridiculous, if you close the borders then mandantory government quarantine is in order.

  15. true says:

    A hard but necessary decision. Do your best to protect us.

  16. Yeah says:

    Bobby’s are doing a good job and they have people cleaning and sanitizing the hand baskets and carts. I am impressed.

  17. Lucifer morningstar says:

    So the government really ignoring the ones that order ride from japan which for those that struggling monies going down the drain….. Like yall really ignoring this fetch… While the shipping agent up stair golden hind don’t know wtf too do or say too we……

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