BVI News

Expected visitors to rack up extra $$ for COVID-related accessories

Minister of Health & Social Development Carvin Malone.

Each visitors planning a trip to the BVI after December 1 will have to set aside more than $400 to cover the cost of a COVID-19 test and the contact-tracing bracelet required to vacation here.

At a press conference Tuesday night, October 27, Health Minister Carvin Malone and Premier Andrew Fahie said each contact-tracing bracelet will cost roughly $150. 

Premier Fahie also revealed that once each visitor is set to leave the BVI, each contact tracing bracelet will have to be returned so it is sanitised and reused by new visitors.

“It is a significant cost-saving from what we do have now. Also, there are a lot of features with it that are a great plus because it will definitely have the area that you’ve been assigned programmed into it. The app will also be able to identify if you enter a space, you’re not supposed to,” Premier Fahie explained. 

Additionally, it costs $135 for each COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test but Minister Malone quickly point out that government is looking to reduce this cost to $100 per test

“We are going to substantially reduce that (the PCR tests). We have a number of donors who are intent on making sure that we are afforded the additional equipment to increase our capacity for testing and to look in terms of the particular pieces, samples, and test kits needed. We would like to bring down the test probably to $100. So if we have three tests, it will be $300. And if we break it down to two tests, it will be $200,” Minister Malone explained.

Obviously, these costs are expected to significantly increase for persons travelling with family members.

Contact tracing app requires internet access

Premier Fahie confirmed that the contact-tracing app that visitors will be required to download does require internet access to perform. 

This means once persons venture out of wifi zone, the app will stop performing. However, Premier Fahie said once Wi-Fi access is regained, persons will be able to see all the data lost when they lost internet access.

In addition to this, Premier Fahie said visitors must download the app and wear the bracelet as both works in harmony to achieve successful results.

But he said developers are looking at improving this to achieve results by the sole wearing of the bracelet.

In the meantime, Premier Andrew had said in a statement on Monday that visitors will be required to get, “medical travel insurance that includes COVID-19 coverage, subscription to a contact-tracing system through their mobile phone, and in some cases, using a wearable device and bearing the costs associated with these measures”.

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  1. Ha says:

    Don’t count your chickens
    They won’t be doing it because they won’t be coming

    Like 32
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  2. No Tourists says:

    I hope you all dont waste money on this. There will be no tourists so dont waste your time. The BVIs are behind every other territory.

    Like 29
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  3. Rubber Duck says:

    It’s cloud cuckoo land,

    No one is coming.

    Like 24
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  4. Fahie is a idiot says:

    When police kill Gorge Floyd
    Bvi Islanders was running to protest black lives matter
    Now is the time to protest for something that is actually matter
    Andrew Fahie is killing the tourism industry and you ppl not seeing
    Ppl will start to die of hunger, stress, mental illness not forgetting the wicked landlord will put tenants out who can’t afford to pay rent so ppl will be homeless

    Cause all lives matter

    Like 39
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  5. my head hurts says:

    Question: With the cost of the tracing bracelet at $150 for each but is reusable according to the Honorable Minister … Why then is each person paying for the full cost of the bracelet?

    Seems like a money grab to me which reflects how most of the decisions are being made. Money for gov but not focused on getting the local economy back up and running … helping desperate people right now where it’s needed most

    Also, did the Premiere really refer to Osama Bin Laden moving about, cave dwelling to navigating the the current situation in the covid era?

    I’ve never seen so much energy of information being put out in public where more questions arise from the actual lack of information being shared.

    It baffles me.

    It seems that the gov is in a mode of get this done by EOD so it looks like we are doing something but long term thoughts of actual planning is void.

    I know they are putting in long hours, brainstorming, researching etc. but is serious resolutions need to be put in place.

    We are in trouble

    Like 25
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  6. Nevermind says:

    I guess we’ll just wave to the BVI this time and stay in the USVI instead. Bummer.

    Like 18
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  7. PT9 says:


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  8. BVI mike says:

    A complete waste of money,
    NO ONE IS COMING!!!!!!!!

    Like 21
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  9. Tourism Worker says:

    Well well, say good bye to tourism, best you had just lock the place down from tourists than to implement all this madness, this will place will be a ghost town soon, we tourism workers will feel it again, when we just had our hopes up you guys just went and crush it, the amount of money that have to be spent for that an then the amount of quarantine days no one is planning to spend a week in quarantine, most people come for roughly a week vacation. If this is how you want independence by putting the main source of income in trouble well boy you guys are backwards.

    Like 18
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  10. 1st district says:

    You Mr. Minister need to present your health credential to the voting public or sit in the back of the church!

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  11. T says:

    They won’t be coming so no-one will be paying! All the costs you guys have no doubt committed to with this nonsensical plan will be sunk.

    Like 14
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  12. Heartbreaking says:

    I want to cry. Feeling so sorry for the BVI tourism industry families.

    Like 18
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  13. EU Citizen says:

    Hahaha, from a good distance this is funny!

    This scheme shouldn’t be a surprise after the premier bought gas masks for people in West End to protect them from Pockwood Pond trash smoke.
    That was not funny though. Just very sad.

    Like 7
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  14. Anonymous says:

    As a US tourist who has been to the BVI twice, this type of measure will probably mean the end to BVI tourism as Belongers have known it. Enacting these types of restrictions will cause the BVI to end up in poverty, disrepair, and economic horror similar to what has happened in Jamaica and Haiti.

    Instead of this proposal, many Caribbean countries are allowing proposed tourists to have the PCR tests done at home, with little to no cost based on insurance, within 72 hours of island arrival time and upload those negative test results to a government website within 12 hours of proposed arrival time. A temperature check and screening questionnaire will then be done on arrival to the island. There would be no quarantine time if the health check on arrival is also negative. This method allows for the tracking ability as well.

    Please, please BVI government – Do not squash the tourism to your beautiful islands!!! Your people depend on us for tourism income!!!!

    Like 11
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    • Well says:

      Best they squash tourism than throw grandma & grandpa under the rona. If people do not quarantine and simply test negative they can contract the virus the same day they test negative.

      All this crying bout hunger stress people need to realize if they did nothing people will die from the pandemic. jobs can come back the same cannot be said for lives lost

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  15. Expat says:

    Yes I know you guys saying we always complain, remember we do not have have the fundamental right like you do so before you bash me think about my situation first.
    I am not working since March plus I have 2 school age kids. I am locked out since March. I still have to pay my rent and other bills in the BVI because my children are there. I still have to pay bills where I am at presently since March. Do you think it is fair I have to still pay for quatentine and all those other fees. I still havecto get all those good standing certificates plus expensive plane tickets. I am getting 0 help from anyone. I am struggling to make ends meet right now as I have two sets of bills. Tell me what you think? I am just an expat momma.

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  16. Crazyness says:

    The amount of cancelations happened since this inanely plan. What about the tourist who is coming in for sailing your telling me these ppl can’t quarantine on the boats they paid for at sea!??? The amount of business that’s been lost since this dumb plan was put into place I do hope y’all can continue to support the persons who rely on this industry for their survival… According to y’all that’s about 60-70% right?? Chupz!

    Like 6
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  17. Shakespeare says:

    It is very depressing when the writers can’t get the headline right. “ Visitors expected to pay….”

  18. Crazy says:

    They must be absolutely nuts. I mean Tortola is beautiful but so are other islands. Nobody is doing this absurd process. I’ll plan my trip for another year. It’s 2020 get with the times. And the $150 for the reusable bracelet is ridiculous if anything make it a deposit returned once device is remitted. Stop thief people man.

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  19. Sailing Grenadines says:

    Sorry to hear this but travelers can come down to the Caricom bubble and sail st Vincent & the Grenadines and the 33 islands without any of these issues

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  20. Love it says:

    Do not mind the noise .. Residents safety first .

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  21. Head in the cloud says:

    These people have their heads in the cloud. They are living in Donald Trump’s world.

  22. Peter says:

    As someone from the US who loves to visit the BVI I am afraid this will kill tourism.
    I have no problem paying for a COVID test and taking one 24hrs before arriving and supplying a negative letter from my DR, it is my duty to protect the health of others.
    I won’t be wearing a bracelet and having software tracking my every move though.if this is the new policy , sadly, It looks like I may have to wait a few years until I can visit again.

    Like 2
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  23. Think says:

    What will people do when their bread and butter family member say a taxi man driving tourist for example drops down from the pandemic. A COVID surge would be more detrimental to tourism & people’s livelihoods then the safety measures.

    As much as we dislike it we can not move in the way countries who have an abundance of people that they expect to lose some and everything keeps working smooth while we have the chance to lose no more than the one lady rip.

  24. lawyer says:

    how come some countries like St.Vincent who never shut down their economy or restrict travel managing this pandemic. Cayman Islands even inviting people who are working from home to come to Cayman and work from home. This means their hotels and apts are fill. Lives are not impacted by a financial crisis.
    All we need is airport screening (positive test results), contact tracing,wearing of mask, sanitizing, stopping illegal border crossing, and a proactive medical task force.1.a.m curfew so the visitors can enjoy the night life.
    Lets get the economy moving. open the sea port to visitors. Mortgages and rent to pay!!

  25. deaf & blind says:

    Other countries including Caribbean countries have boarder entry plans. COPY –> PAISTE. But no. BVI is better than all of that right? Lets make up a long and ridiculous method with the idea that a “high-tech” system can be properly managed.
    Said by the same people who can not manage or report on The People’s bank account, or provide good efficient services in 90% of their sectors.

    These regulations shows that the Government and Tourist Board have NO IDEA how the BVI economy works and within that how tourism works.
    Absolutely embarrassing.

    Outside of the regular absurdity of all of this….

    Why to the bracelets cost $100-135? To visitors keep them as a souvenir?? How about a bracelet deposit that is refundable upon return at the end of the tracking period.
    Phone App needs wifi… it is ok to leave a wifi area because it will reactivate when back around wifi. WHY BOTHER? How many places have wifi? how about reliable wifi? Do they have to go around asking every place they go for wifi passwords?

  26. No thanks says:

    Off to Antigua.

  27. Can’t wait says:

    I can’t wait to see the SNL skit of this one.

  28. Frequent Visitors says:

    My wife and I have been to the BVI (Tortola) 39 times and were planning our 40th trip to coincide with our 40th year of marriage…as a result of the new requirements we have booked our trip elsewhere….not sure when (or if) we will again travel to the BVI….it was the freedom of the island and its people that we most enjoyed.

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