BVI News

Gov’t moving towards COVID rapid tests — Health Minister

The government is now moving towards implementing rapid tests for COVID-19 while seeking to replace the current nasal tests that have caused discomfort for many persons.

Speaking on the VIP’s Let’s Talk radio programme last evening, Health Minister Carvin Malone said persons have expressed concern about the nasal tests.

One caller to the radio programme asked when fully vaccinated persons will be able to avoid being tested before and after their return to the BVI. The Health Minister said, “we’re not there yet”.

“We’re there in terms of, if you take the test to be approved to come in, right now we’re taking the second one, and you can go after twenty-four hours,” Malone said.

According to the Health Minister, the territory will surely be moving towards the 15-minute rapid test — eliminating the 24-hour wait for results.

“We’re trying to move that to where you take it to get the negative test, you come in and we’re trying for a rapid test,” Malone said. “We’re trying to move away from the nasal test.”

Malone said this is an emerging technology used in some places but the BVI will continue to be guided by the recommendations from regional and international bodies.

Rapid tests will eliminate headache

Acting Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley expressed satisfaction the BVI will be moving towards rapid tests. He said noted it would have a dramatic impact on the ability of persons to travel and will be a massive benefit for vaccinated persons.

According to Dr Wheatley, this would eliminate the need for quarantine. 

“When we quarantine right now, you quarantine to wait for your negative or your positive result. But to be able to get that result in fifteen minutes will eliminate that and eliminate a lot of headache,” Dr Wheatley said.

Malone added that one of the reasons it was important for the territory to have the shorter tests and move them along is that the BVI is accepting tourists who did not “pay for a cruise to come and stand in line to be tested – especially if you’re fully vaccinated.”

He said medical personnel are under great pressure to find ways in which the new tests could be done effectively.

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39 Comments

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  1. Nonsense says:

    Too late as usual, you have effectively killed yet another tourist season in the BVI and who knows what hurricane season holds. Totally inept and useless administration, worst in BVI history!

    Like 49
    Dislike 6
    • Wow says:

      Malone just woke up to the fact that they are letting cruise ship passengers on island without any testing but visitors that have a more recent negative test have to test again, quarantine, wear a bracelet, get screwed using government approved taxis and treated like shit. Can’t make this crap up. The man needs a job at the carwash. Perhaps he’s qualified for that.

      Like 41
      Dislike 1
      • FAUCI E-Mails says:

        On page 3027 of the emails, Dr. Fauci told colleagues that retail face masks don’t work due to the tiny size of the virus.

        Like 4
        Dislike 1
    • worst government ever says:

      Totally agree with you, worst government ever.

    • Wow says:

      As an American, it’s hard to imagine a more hard headed approach to bureaucracy than ours and yet these BVI politicians and “Health Minister Malone” have found a way to top us.

      Why is it so hard to adopt common sense approach like the USVI has? Antibody testing and rapid tests for vaccinated travelers should have been in place by weeks ago. But here the BVI is, three steps behind and killing their own economy.

      Talking about rapid tests and STILL requiring PCR only to enter – these people are absolute morons.

  2. Tim says:

    Finally …

    Get it done ASAP … this is the only way the country can scale its reopening.

    It’s clear current procedures are limiting capacity.

    Get it done and eliminate the stupid day 4 targeted at kids..

    Like 29
    • Day 4 says:

      It’s why I cancelled my 8 day trip. I’m not taking a stop in the middle of my charter for my no-risk kids to get tested.

  3. bvi resident says:

    Always behind as usual, so many countries already do rapid tests and no quarantine

    Like 29
    Dislike 2
  4. Finally says:

    A rapid 15 min. virus test. Please don’t apply the civil servants time scale where 15 min. takes all day!

    Like 41
  5. whistleblower says:

    And get rid of the travel portal for vaccinated guests and vaccinated residents who want to travel

    Like 29
    Dislike 5
    • Resident says:

      agreed the portal is garbage and the folks who run it are not ready for prime time

      Like 26
      • Yep says:

        The travel portal is nothing but theater along with the Q phones and tracking.

        let vaccinated people in with a positive antibody test or rapid negative test.

        Get out of the way of progress.

  6. BVI Future says:

    A year too late!

    Like 17
  7. WEW says:

    OMG Better VERY late than never. I suppose …

    Like 15
    Dislike 4
  8. V4 says:

    Just stop talking about it and get on with it then

    Like 16
  9. Traveler says:

    If cruise ships are arriving with fully vaccinated passengers who do not require further testing, why are other fully vaccinated travelers not allowed to enter with no further testing? With these continuing restrictions for fully vaccinated non-cruise travelers, the message the government is sending is that the vaccines are pointless. This is not a good message.

    Like 23
    • vully vax says:

      no one is actually fully vaccinated if you think about it. a shot is good in the body for 90 days so 2 shots make it 6 months. Following the true science on the jabs and not what government saying, it really mean that after 6 monthes your vaccine wear out. so basically people get 2 dose and nobody fully vax. wait a little longer and here what Faucci say in a few weeks.

      Like 3
      Dislike 13
      • Tim says:

        where do you make this ^()T up?

        there is no such thing. no one knows how long it last. Folks talking on a year maybe more.
        Some companies trying to say it might be sooner (they want the $$).

        No one knows but this made up science that each shoot is equal 3 months… my dear lord…

        must be because the BillG chip for the 5G is running out of battery , right?

        Like 6
        Dislike 1
      • Kiko says:

        Faucci? What has he got to do with the BVI? He isn’t qualified here, only in a foreign country. He is irrelevant. You might as well ask a doctor in Indonesia.

        Like 1
        Dislike 4
        • @Kiko says:

          Great point, I’d take the word of a BVI doctor or health minister over Fauci’s any day.

          Fauci clearly knows nothing given CDC’s complete lack of funding and resources….

          Idiot.

          Like 3
          Dislike 2
      • read says:

        go to moderna abd astrazeneca sites and read for yourself. Yes its effect is 90 days for shoot

        Like 2
        Dislike 2
  10. Thank you to the Cruise Ships says:

    So we have the cruise passengers to thank for this. I see. Poor we. We must be chop liver. lol Locals traveling back and forth and no consideration for us, but cruise ship coming and all of a sudden rapid testing is being considered. We see you honourable!

    Like 14
  11. Rubber Duck says:

    OK. That is the way to go. Well done.

    Rapid tests for the vaccinated.

    The unvaccinated are going to have to have the cotton bud down the throat several times and quarantine.

    Like 9
    Dislike 9
  12. Anonymous says:

    Please get rid,replace that nasal torture procedure with a procedure that is accurate and pain free. That nasal procedure is pure torture, why many, many would avoid it whenever possible.

    Like 10
    Dislike 2
  13. The Nation speaks says:

    Please don’t be wicked and allow the rapid tests only for the vaccinated and not the unvaccinated. Don’t be wicked. God don’t sleep.

    Like 9
    Dislike 8
  14. Skipper says:

    All our guests had to endure the very painful torture of having a stick shoved up their noses and into their brain at the airport. All then had their second test in Peebles where the staff are fully trained and much more gentle.
    THIS TEST NEED NOT BE PAINFUL!
    Train your staff first then move onto rapid test.

    Like 13
  15. lol says:

    Which one of them will be bringing in the test?

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  16. Anonymous says:

    Visit the bahamas, if vaccinated, no testing required at all.

    Like 10
    Dislike 1
    • @ Anonymous says:

      That is the most foolish thing! So the lab leak theory is now gaining traction. We will see with y’all nonsense to treat the vaccinated as being immune from contraction and transmission. Just imagine! a vaccine that the maker said only have 65% accuracy y’all treating as 100% guarantee.

      Like 2
      Dislike 1
  17. Bahama says:

    Visit the bahamas, if vaccinated, no testing required at all.

  18. BVI Future says:

    Tourist dollars are the bread of this economy. That’s is why. Maybe, we need the tourists to get us some high school buildings.
    And most of you people want to believe everything in this country is Black vs White or UK vs BVI. Well, it is not. We lack educated visionary leaders.

    Like 12
  19. Option says:

    Dr Travel Center
    HOME

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    Do travelers need to present a mandatory negative COVID-19 test upon arrival?
    Airports and other ports of entry will perform a quick, aleatory breath test to between 3% and 15% of passengers, and all those who present symptoms, upon arrival. Passengers under the age of five and crew members are exempt from this procedure. All passengers will also need to perform a temperature check. Passengers who present symptoms or whose test results are positive will be isolated and attended at authorized locations. Prior to departure, travelers should confirm with their airline provider and airport of origin regarding any testing or other related requirements for inbound flights to the Dominican Republic, or necessary requirements needed upon arrival to their country of origin.

  20. Tested 8 times says:

    In the U.S they don’t send the swabs all the way to your brain.
    The virus lodges in your nasal passage, not your brain.

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  21. Jay says:

    Vaccinated Travelers with a negative covid test should be what is required to enter BVI. Please stop making it difficult for people who may want to come to our islands. We are losing millions to other destinations. We need to get our act together. Such a bunch of losers in Govt and tourism.

    • Concerned Potential Belonger/Property Owner says:

      I highly recommend that the BVI ease restrictions in regards to required testing and accept the rapid test especially for fully vaccinated persons having to complete a travel authorization prior to visiting. Rapid test give results the same day. The 3 – 5 day window prior to arrival is too short for the RT-PCR lab test which takes 2 – 3 days for results that need to be uploaded to the Travel Authorization Application at least 2 days before arrival and the maximum 24 hour approval deadline prior to arrival. The USVI has been taking the rapid test (antigen) results which is much faster and as efficient as the RT-PCR test. Also, please specify on the BVI tourism site whether the BVI arrival date is included in the 5 day window or is it the 5 days prior to arrival? I would think the latter since some language used is “prior to arrival”; however, I was told the arrival date is the 5th day which makes it impossible to complete the Travel Authorization with results in the 3 – 5 day window. Rapid test should be accepted, especially for those fully vaccinated as soon as possible. Thank you! It should not be this hard to come home and visit family, friends and contribute to the economy!

  22. Secret Bear says:

    Dr. Wheatley has not done his research. A rapid test is not just a faster PCR test. It’s a different testing method entirely and is notorious for leading to false positives, which then require a PCR test to confirm, which will lead to unnecessary panic and time and money wasted than if they had just used a PCR test and waited for a more accurate result. Or better yet, stop testing vaccinated persons at all.

  23. Tammy says:

    The rapid test is better. Also shorter quarantine Tortola economy needs to to come back up

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