BVI News

Empty cruise ships granted access to BVI ports

The BVI has now granted access for cruise vessels to make technical calls or ‘warm lay-ups’ to the territory.

Effectively, a warm lay-up describes a situation where a cruise ship docks at a port with a reduced number of crew members as well as reduced maintenance of the vessel while its essential machinery and mechanical systems are kept in operation. 

As cruise lines have been forced to suspend operations because of COVID-19, most are in search of ports to dock and maintain their vessels as they wait for the pandemic to subside. 

This access granted to cruise ships for warm lay-ups in the BVI is one of the latest amendments to the BVI’s COVID-19 curfew order, which came into effect today, September 12.

Government has not said what it intends to charge for cruise vessels to use the territory’s ports for lay-ups. But, the decision to do so comes amid calls for government to reopen for tourism as residents are experiencing income-loss from the total shutdown.

Tentative date to reopen to visitors

The government has named November as a tentative date for the reopening of local borders to visitors, as authorities seek to reduce the number of active COVID-19 cases in the territory.

In the meantime, these latest amendments to the curfew order were made by Cabinet after the number of active cases dropped to 28.

The amendments also gave permission for all businesses — with the exception of a select few — to operate as of September 12 between the hours of 5 am and 1 pm daily.

The businesses still not permitted to operate are salons, hairdressers, barbershops, restaurants for in-service dining, bars, nightclubs, and pubs.

The ministry said those businesses are to remain closed “until further notice”.

As for the businesses now allowed to operate, they will be subject to inspection by the Social Distancing Monitoring Task Force and certification by the Environmental Health Division.  

COVID-19 Statistics
Confirmed cases – 66
Active cases – 28
Recoveries – 37
Deaths – 1
Number of Persons Tested – Over 4,000


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  1. Testing? says:

    Are the crews allowed to depart the ships. What type of testing will be done?

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    • @ Testing says:

      As with airplanes, the first issue with maintaining an idle cruise ship is simply finding a place to park it. As many as 16,000 planes have been grounded in the pandemic, hiding out in dry and rust-proof places that range from hangars and airport tarmacs to desert boneyards. Ships are similarly scrambling to find the right conditions to weather the storm.

      There’s not enough port space for every ship to dock at once, especially for huge ships that ordinarily carry up to 8,880 passengers and crew. Some vessels have had no choice but to drop anchor at sea, occasionally stopping into the nearest port for provisions and fuel.

      Crew remain on board.

      Like 10
  2. Wow.. says:

    Looks Good…. Hope to get them coming full soon…

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  3. Cuse says:

    What are the benefits and drawbacks.

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  4. What? says:

    The article says the government has named November as the tentative date to reopening borders to visitors? When did this come out? Has there been any official announcement?

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  5. humm says:

    So Government getting money and no ne else ? Sounds about right!

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  6. haggis says:

    In the middle of hurricane season…???

    Like 14
  7. MBGA Man says:

    Sam, we getting close, boy!

    Like 4
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    • Sam Henry says:

      This government is a forward thinking government, they’re slow to act, but makes the right decisions most of the time.

      Let’s all stay positive, add value to government actions so we all can live better lives.

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  8. US says:

    You all can have all of them. I guess the BVI is the only port. Every other cruise port said nooooooo.

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  9. Mack Alison says:

    This cruise ship are all over , just drifting out to sea I don’t see a problem in giving them a chance to come to port for a day , they don’t have any passengers on board and less than half the crew required to operate them .
    Some of them get to spend a day or two docked in st Maarten and st kitts . Someone told me there a few of them just drifting out in the Caribbean Sea ,
    It hasn’t been easy on anyone , but the two ship industry is one of those that was hit the hardest . Give the a break .

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  10. Say whatttt says:

    The Government has to be making good money off this deal. Whose crazy idea was this?

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  11. scipio says:

    They should ban these floating Petri dishes from the BVI for good. We need to concentrate on real tourism, not these $15/day cheapskates.

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  12. Well this is it! says:

    Well if we didn’t have Corona now, we will sure get it. Smh

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  13. Interesting says:

    So here is more info about warm lay up. Looks like it might be good for the BVI, as they pay a lot.

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  14. Scipio...Grow Up! says:

    You know what else is considered a “Petri Dish”? Day Cares and Airplanes. So lets grow up here.

    The Cruise Industry continues to follow the science and listen to the scientists, sharing their findings with the public along the way for all to adapt.

    They’ve also spearheaded a task force to return to the Caribbean

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  15. Port says:

    Premier when you going to fix the problems at ports. D and K is a waste. money in the hands of people with no clue. Them new D******rs ****, waste of money when is staff getting back 40 hrs.

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  16. Miro says:

    Step by step…just how long?

  17. Anonymous says:

    is remittance open

  18. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if this incident will teach the Caribbean islands anything about the power of collective bargaining or whether once countries begin to re-open it will be another race to the bottom to see who can give the most concessions to cruise ships.

  19. Insurers says:

    Prudent insurers would prefer that these insured idle cruise ships lay up in ports/countries outside the hurricane zones. The BVI is right in the middle of the Atlantic hurricane season until December 2020.

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  20. Bigger Plans says:

    These Cruise ships are looking for birthing destination in the region to launch their Caribbean cruise. They want to focus more on doing Caribbean cruise because of the low risk, laws that’s benefit them And protect them from liability and a Port where chinese tourist can travel without Visa. They already tried St Kitts and won’t Happy thdre, too much problems with Girls going on the Dock soliciting their stuff…Yep.. These cruise ships are very slick and very determined to continue business by November 1st..Hope it works out for the BVI.. it sounds like a small economical boost…

    • Staying safe says:

      Yes.this move might help for future business from helping out, but let’s pray that we are not having a Dejà vu of the Wreck of the Rhone !

  21. Clean air ! says:

    Hopefully this move won’t bring in too much air pollution in RoadTown from the running of their engines at the dock while staying there for a few days !
    Just concerned….

    • Staying safe says:

      Yes.this move might help for future business from helping out, but let’s pray that we are not having a Dejà vu of the Wreck of the Rhone !

  22. Concerned says:

    Yes, this might become another story like the Wreck of the Rhone’ when we are in the peak of hurricane season and it does not seem to slow down as yet !

  23. Pancakes says:

    This is the most foolish government I ever see, how can a ship bring money to the territory? Fahie you need to go and educate yourself alone with the rest of [them] in your government, the coronavirus is not going to end anytime soon so use your common sense if you get any at all, work to open the border/economy before you make this beautiful island fall to its knee, better yet listen to the business owners it’s too long now, every one has to die one day so scared of is not helping, ppl already know what the have to do we are not babies

  24. More news says:

    What cruise ship do you have in dry dock in the BVI?

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