BVI News

Don’t let tourists dictate our health protocols, hospitality industry told

Premier Andrew Fahie

Premier Andrew Fahie is urging businesses in the local hospitality industry not to allow their guests to dictate their own COVID-19 health protocols when the territory reopens its borders to visitors from December 1.

The Premier made that appeal during the debate process of the Bill entitled, ‘COVID-19 Control & Suppression (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) (No.2) Act, 2020’, which was passed in the House of Assembly on Wednesday.

With the legal framework for the protocols now in place, Fahie said the BVI will not be accepting any negligent behaviour as it relates to health protocols.

“I’m appealing to our fine business people not to allow what I have seen happen in other parts of the world where for the warmth of a dollar, we allow the guest to do what they want to do and ignore the protocols and put the staff and as a result their children, their spouse, their in-laws and their grandparents and mothers in danger,” Fahie stated.

He added: “They’re not COVID-19 specialists, they’re not doctors and it will be unfair for us to ask the people of the Virgin Islands to adhere and they adhere to all the measures, then to have a few people come and break the rules and dictate the pace for us and create cases where we would have to be looking about whether to shut down or not.”

One PCR test not enough because of COVID’s ‘incubation period’

While declaring his support for the legislation, Deputy Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley said he believes there is a wide misunderstanding of the incubation period of the virus. He said this ignorance explains why so many people may be against the BVI’s COVID-19 travel protocols.

The legislator said while most people believe tourists entering the BVI with one negative PCR test should be enough to roam freely, it poses a great danger to the society based on how the virus develops.

“There was a video where the Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley was speaking and she spoke eloquently about why we need additional tests to that negative PCR test that you walk with. And it is for that very same reason that I am speaking now. There is something called an ‘incubation period’,” he said.

“It means that you can test negative for the virus that causes COVID-19 and you still have COVID-19. But the viral load is not large enough to be detected via tests. And it will take you at least four to five days to be able to pick it up on a test. So you have some countries who are letting in persons just with a negative PCR test and then you find that this person ends up testing positive, and by that time they would have spread the virus throughout the society,” Dr Wheatley explained.

Details of the Bill

Health Minister Carvin Malone outlined some of the key elements of the legislation, which will be enforceable from December 1.

He said: “The COVID-19 Control & Suppression Entry of Persons Regulations of Persons 2020, will allow for the entry of persons travelling in the territory including persons who are deemed to belong to the territory, persons who are holders of certificate of residence, work permit holders, and tourists. [They] will be subject to specific requirements and conditions including testing, monitoring, quarantine and self-isolation measures protecting public health, and for the prevention, control and suppression of the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and for any other purpose provided there it.”

As previously announced, all persons entering the territory will have to register on the BVI Gateway Travel Application Portal and download the approved app software. 

A negative certified COVID-19 PCR test that must be obtained five days before entry, along with evidence of a travel insurance policy must also be provided by the traveller.

With the exception of Belongers and residents, a person entering the BVI with a positive COVID-19 test will not be able to enter the territory.

Social distancing and mask-wearing must be adhered to as outlined by the provisions.

Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

33 Comments

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  1. Nick says:

    Dont worry,mister fahie.I work for a charter company and we only have one booking in december.Thank you to your guys who took forever to put a plan in place.

    Like 34
    Dislike 7
  2. Go away says:

    Go away

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  3. Ok says:

    Ok so the two just let out a large volume of gas. No need to worry about the tourists. The portal doesn’t work so nobody coming. If it does begin to work, let’s talk some reality. The PCR test takes 24 to 48 hours to receive the results. The BVI requires that you have a test taken 48 hours prior to arrival. Sooo, if I take the test within in the required timeframe, I don’t receive the results until I’m supposed to arrive however zim supposed to upload the test result to get clearance enabling me to arrive. This all is an impossibility which is how it was designed. Allow the tourist entry but make it impossible to enter. Not to worry anyway, nobody is coming. Once this nonsense plays out on social media it’s all over for the BVI now and in the future. BVInoLove

    Like 25
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    • Anonymous says:

      Put your money where your money is! After they come you will change from nobody to not a lot, then when a lot come you will start to talk about there could have been more. You just a hater blind to reality.

      Like 3
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    • @Ok says:

      What you said is not only true but is made worse by the fact that government employees must act rapidly, interact with the tourist online and use a computer. All of the above is an impossibility of the Belonger government worker. So sad

      Like 17
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    • wrong says:

      Test within 5 days of arrival, don’t even have to upload if you don’t have time but you must bring the results.

      Please keep up if you are going to bitch

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  4. Heckler says:

    This guy’s government is more broken than NDP after Irma.

    Like 20
    Dislike 4
  5. @Heckler says:

    You say broken, I say twisted.

    Like 15
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  6. Get away says:

    This is who we elected to lead us. I am ashamed.

    Like 12
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  7. lol says:

    The irony of a d*****or talking about d****ting.

  8. Stay Put says:

    My husband and I own a home in your beautiful country and BVI has been one of our additional homes for almost 25 years. Apart from our main home, we have property in 3 caribbean islands and one in thr Pacific.

    Each destination is unique and we love each one, including the BVI.

    At the same time, we respect the country’s endeavors to keep covid out to protect its people. We are not BVI citizens and never wanted to be as we take pride in our own nationalities (My husband and I have different nationalities and we each have citizenship from the other as spouses.

    In none of the places we travel and own property have we ever been subjected to such hatred for non citizens as the BVI. My husband and I are 2 different cultures and skin tones and the browner one of us gets treated more disrespect than the other, especially at Immigration and Labour.

    Like several of our friends with properties in the BVI, we experienced the financial loss like every other place in the world and we are for complaining about that. We have done our best to continue to contribute to the economy by keeping our housekeepers and maintenance staff employed for as long as we could at least until we could get to travel to BVI. We know the importance of quarantine and we were prepared to have all staff off of the property foe 14 days or until clearance is given. Our property is securely gated, secluded and was kept maintained and cleaned, but yet we were told that we would have to stay in a room by [hotel] which we did not want. So we decided not to travel there.

    We have been able to travel to our other homes and quarrantine in each of them, adhering to all protocols of each government. None has been as strenous as the BVI.no security guards either. We do not want special treatment. We would certainly be happy to see sensible and less stressful requirements.

    When the announcement was made about Dec 1 reopening we had high expectations. Based on our previous experiences with lack of clear and precise information from BVI officials, we felt that we should wait it out and see what the final decision would be. Of course I was not disappointed as when Hon Fahie and Malone came out with the requirements I got a lump in my throat. Thank goodness they listened to reasoning and went back to the drawing board.

    We wish the BVI well. However, it does not make economical sense to try to hold on to our property there and preparing to place it on the market. We have another set of red tape to go through with our land holding licence to get approval to dispose of it. The interesting thing is that our villas in other destinations are now booked (not to full capacity but a little here and there and manageable). Our limited staff have jobs to feed their families…ezcept the BVI.

    Everything in life is for a reason and a season. We have made great friends throughout the BVI who we keep in touch with and are lifetime friends. The current government seem to be a mess and I’m still stuck on the bizzare budget address. Life will one day return to normal worldwide and I wish the BVI and it’s people the very best.

    Like 40
    • peace says:

      I am so sorry that our rules here do not agree with your outlook. You do have alternatives financially as you have stated. We, like New Zealand and other countries dealing with this pandemic leave the power of the purse out and make strong rules for our country and it’s people.

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    • @Stay Put says:

      Good luck trying to sell your Villa. Properties are becoming worthless in the Territory because of Foy’s restrictions and the racist mentality of the locals. I see this as intent to get rid of all whites in the Territory and Blacks from other islands. Just remember the Belonger is not smart or educated but they are devious.

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    • Hmm says:

      Seems like at the end of the day your problem is staying in a hotel and being held in check by security & general authority.

      Now should you be allowed to quarantine in on your property with no security and then have you walking around the community because you feel you won’t interact with anyone on your morning run perhaps???

      That is what you seem to suggest as mentioned that is how they do it in elsewhere.

      People have to stay in a hotel because they can not be trusted to self quarantine effectively.

      It is because of the measures of government that we on the ground can have a semblance of normal life, friends and family, group gatherings.

      To look elsewhere is to see many ineffective measures prolonging this virus on a global scale.

      Money isn’t everything especially not during a pandemic. The same workers don’t want to go into lockdown.

      Is a hotel too low class?

      It seems if you were able to stay in your house you would keep it and keep paying the workers. Now that you have to stay in a hotel to quarantine you want to sell the house and get rid of the workers. Hmmmm that’s petty.

      The poor workers but the hand of the owner is forced to make a difficult decision. Really?

      Like 2
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      • stay put says:

        peace and hmmm, we laugh at your sorry comments. Our post was not intended to offend anyone and we pity your analysis and opinion. If it makes you feel good, then clap clap. This forum is not the space to express our observation of the mentality of persons like you, who we have experienced oh so often. Let me break it down a bit.

        Please take a seat if you will, and I beg your pardon. I intentionally did not mention the name of any country, but I am amazed and delighted that you mention New Zealand. You folks cannot think further than NY and MIA and feel it is only Americans who do business in your country. For your sorry information, professionally, as scientists with degrees and experience as virologist and epidemiologists and leading researchers and advisors, we know too well the extent of this pandemic. We are retired and were honored that as persons known in the New Zealand public health structure, we were asked to return and assist and join the scientific minds to help with the understanding and management of covid. We are part of the team who advise NZ and several other countries on rapid convid-19 genome sequencing as well as the modern tech design of a modeling data system. So please, for goodness sake do not insult us.

        We have also researched, advised and assisted in developing the managed isolation that NZ has so we do know what quarrantine in a small hotel room is all about.

        We dare not offer our assistance to your government as a few of our friends who are also friends of the BVI and are in similar fields of science (infectous diseases etc) and medicine have shared with us their experiences when they offered their services to assist BVI as no cost. They have either had no response or have been outright insulted. We will not therefore subject ourselves to the shallow-mindedness of the masses.

        We have both been on the frontlines during the ebola outbreak in West Africa and the Sars epedemic between 2002 and 2004. I say no more.

        We have lost a few friends and loved ones world-wide to covid and we mourn those losses. In BVI, we have also been informed of a few dear friends who we have met along our journey, not only in Tortola but also Virgin Gorda and JVD. As far as we understand, they were not diagnosed with covid, and they just checked out like that. Two of them just went to sleep and did not wake up. We know of death and as long as there is birth there will be death. We also know that undue stress can make the strongest of humanity to fall to pieces and take you out.

        Our employees are not poor if you please. We have trained all of them on international levels over the years and despite our property not bringing in an income, we have kept all of them employed and on full salary. We continue to support and assist them in whatever way we can as they are lovely and decent individuals who are like family to us. Apart from ridiculing others and sitting back thinking that BVI makes up half of the universe, What have you done sir or madam?

        If our home is not sold, we are humble enough to know that it is just concrete. It would be a challenge as with real estate worldwide, but we accept whatever happens even though naturally a positive outcome will be welcomed.

        We do not bash the BVI, but we have found that so so many of the local people, within and without government are so narrow that it is pitiful and we doubt there is hope for a turnaround.

        Like 21
        • Flipflop says:

          “ Our limited staff have jobs to feed their families…ezcept the BVI”

          You can say genome all day long. That virtue signaling does not change your first post nor is it relevant. It’s an appeal to authority.

          You are not humble and it struck a nerve.

          “Shallow minded masses” Oh how humble, and non-condescending.

          I know I am condescending, do you know that you are?

          Still you have yet to address your problem with staying in a hotel vs your private dwelling and the risks associated with allowing people to self quarantine in private dwellings.

          As you are such an expert it blows my mind that you wish to set a precedent of allowing wealthy people to put the entire community at risk through private unsupervised quarantine.

          Blows my mind. All the virtue signaling is nothing compared to what you complained about especially as an expert.

          Certainly not an expert in human behavior. People will run amok if allowed to quarantine unsupervised.

          I think you already made up your mind and came on here to put the country on blast in your exit and make yourself feel better about your real estate decision. Claim it you have nothing to lose be real.

          • hush says:

            its people like you who will dump a whole bag of sweet grapes in the sea because you found a leaf in the middle. Ayo always look for that one thing to pick at and miss the whole message. You will soon have the entire BVI to hug up for yourself. shut your a**e

          • to flip flop says:

            You better flip and flop. It was hard to tell from their first post but I figured out who it is from the 2nd post, which looks like it was prompted from your response. If I am right, you are no match for them and way way out of your lane. As they said, they are not looking favours, just a common sense approach. As long as I’m not mistaken, its people who don’t need to come here. I think 2 of their staff live on their property for free as well.

            You might be a minister or a top civil servant, or similar but go chill and figure out how to run the country properly cause the kitty is going to dry up sooner or later and kick you off your high horse.

        • Sincere Apologies says:

          @Stay Put,

          As a native (born and raised BVI Islander), permit me to apologize for all that you have had to endure. I am truly and genuinely sorry that this has been your experience. Unfortunately, I know the mindset that you speak of only too well and it is disheartening that HUMAN BEINGS would behave in such a manner to others. It grieves and pains my heart. The consolation is that you do not have to be subjected to the hostile attitudes and behaviour of a people that some where along life’s journey, have become callous, rude, condescending and overbearing. Alas, there are a good few and I thank you for acknowledging that. Sadly, the good few don’t make up the majority (whether we want to acknowledge that or not) so there are those of us who live in hell because the hospitality and welcoming spirit of our ancestors seem to have passed on with them. I wish you every success in getting your property sold and although I’ve not the pleasure of knowing you and your spouse personally, I thank you both for the contributions that you have made to the BVI’s economy, I thank you for keeping people employed during this global pandemic and I thank you for the work that you have done and continue to do GLOBALLY. Your heart is truly pure and I’m saddened that this had to be the way things had to end for you with the BVI. I wish you both continued success in your humanitarian efforts and know that all that you have done is not and will not be in vain.

  9. Rubber Duck says:

    Wow, Aren’t we lucky to have these world leading medical experts as our government ministers.

    If you arrive and have a negative PCR test ,you dont have Covid and it will not suddenly appear. End of.

    Like 6
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  10. The Reaper says:

    Thank u lord.let them stay their Donald Trump COVID backside in there Country…Trump supporters wasn’t wearing no mask ,no social distancing…Coming here for me to show hospitality……😄😄😄😄😄😄😁😁

    Like 5
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    • @Reaper says:

      Get your facts straight. The bulk of the people with Covid in the US are negros or Africans. The reason? Because of stupidity and lack of education. Don’t blame on the great Donald Trump. Blame Obama bin Laden and his g****la wife.

      Like 5
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      • Is that so? says:

        Or are people with black skin more vulnerable due to poor access to health care, living in close proximity to each other etc. Which is all a result of systemic racism.

        And then black skin doesn’t absorb D3 from the sun very well. So that may cause vitamin deficiency and greater vulnerability to covid.

        Like 3
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  11. is what it is says:

    too bad the modified changes weren’t announced from the beginning but that is now water under the bridge. I think that the protocols in place are quite reasonable under the circumstances and until this Covid thing starts to back off we should support the plan. quite frankly I now think it is a selling feature for tourism as the safest destination in the Caribbean.but it is up to all the people and business to follow it and in time we will be looked up to around the world as being the most successful country to manage the crisis. See what that does for tourism. we are going to need an expanded airport.

    Like 2
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    • Right says:

      That’s what they need to big up but this active case scenario when people travel in is hurting the count. There should be a special label for active cases in quarantine.

  12. An ju says:

    While premier getting f****r daily the people starving

  13. Selfishness says:

    Some human beings are very selfish. We are going through a rough time right now and I am thankful that our Government have the health and the interest of the people of the VI at the forefront of their thoughts. Money is not everthing. If we have life we will rebuild our economy.

    • hahaha says:

      money is not everything. Go to Cash & Carry, BVIEC and the bank and let them know money is not everything. You are clearly one who think their bread is buttered on both sides. Either have a little bit of money of think your job is glued to you.

  14. Sister Island says:

    Made the trip to Tortola yesterday to get a few more supplies before December 1. No One is wearing masks there!? Lots of people gathered at taxi stands – no masks. Small shops with people in them – no masks. People walking on the street – no masks. Govenment offices – no masks…
    We are going to be in big trouble around December 20. What happened??? We were so strong for 9 months. Get that mask back on!
    Tortola has to lead the way or the rest of us are DOOMED

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  15. Again says:

    Dear Hon Wheatley and Premier Fahie,

    It maybe this news site but both your speeches seem as though you are bullying / talking to children.

    Very few people have an issue with the protocols as is. The problem is the Government was disorganised and didn’t release a concise plan when it should have done. This in turn has lead to mass cancelations from people who probably would have come IF the I’s had been dotted and T’s crossed to start with.
    Now we have a problem. The BVI is going to stay safe and while we are all aware that you are very scared of an out break happening, the percentage chance of it is incredibly low as we have minimal people coming. What is the problem is the same people that were put out of work or on to reduce hours in March ARE STILL out of of work or on reduced hours. Social Security helped up to the end of June. We are now a week away from opening and this people ARE STILL not getting any relief. There is no work because there is a tiny tourist season happening. The only possible hope is people coming in Feb or March if a vaccine comes out.
    We want to hear how we are going to survive for the next year??

  16. Anonymous says:

    Don’t see how any rational thinking mind can disagree with this.

    Looked around the world lately? Seen the increasing infections and deaths?

    Seen the idiots who think the world and everyone in it belongs to them, so they can go around freely infect people?

    Like 2
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  17. Too late says:

    Gateway still not working, protocols still not finished. Four days till we open, we won’t have to worry about the bad tourists, there won’t be any! Even Liat won’t come here! Great job team. Next time try not to make money off the tourist before they come.

  18. WEW says:

    The tourist aren’t here and you’re doing a great job as d*****or

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