BVI News

No entry for locals until June 2! Access only allowed via Beef Island airport

Citizens and residents currently outside the territory will not be able to enter until June and will only be allowed access through one port of entry — the Terrance B Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island. 

Governor Augustus Jaspert made the announcement during a national COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday, April 15.

“Our borders will remain closed to incoming passengers until 6 am on June 2 in the first instance. This is important because the progress and the ability that we have to do a gradual safe phase reopening internally, relies on us not importing or bringing in any risk of the virus into the territory,” the Governor stated.

“I know that is very difficult for people with families, loved ones, workers outside of this territory, but this is the chance we have to ensure that we can do a gradual reopening internally in a safe way,” he added.

Hard Sea Border

Governor Jaspert further said that government will be taking a hard sea border approach to ensure that no one sneaks into the territory while the borders remain closed.

He said: “This means that to help this (the hard sea border), there will also be a ban on all private and commercial boats, other than internal ferries or freighting cargo boats on our territorial waters in this first phase.”

“It is important that the efforts of our security teams are focused on securing the marine border, and they need to be looking for any boats that are out on the water breaking those rules, and having lots of boats out at the moment will make their job harder,” the Governor explained.

For three months after June 2, only BVIslanders and residents will regain access into the territory. But, Premier Andrew Fahie said access will only be granted under strict conditions.

He said access will be “subject to a pre-approval of passenger information seven days in advance of travel, among other measures”.

Zero Tolerance for Human Trafficking

Meanwhile, the Premier asserted that there will be a zero-tolerance approach by his government for human trafficking and crime.

In that regard, he said that additional manpower has been temporarily deployed at the ports of entry to reinforce border security.

“Public officers are being retooled and retrained for the new BVI, where Cabinet decided on a temporary redeployment of Immigration Officers, to join the joint task force with Her Majesty’s Customs and the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force for the COVID-19 era,” Fahie stated.

Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

44 Comments

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  1. Zero talent says:

    The main thing that requires zero talent: Being on time.

    Why does this government always let the people wait for at least half an hour before they start their broadcasts. Have some respect, we are at home but we still have things to do.

    Be a leader, be an example. Be on time.

    Like 38
    Dislike 5
    • really says:

      @Zero Talent: i will understand your concern if the live broadcast was not left online for everyone to watch it afterwards. i really believe that no matter what the government does for his people there will always be people that will look for some type of fault to criticize. lets relax and hope for the best in these hard time we are going trough. lets be patience and positive cause we are all in this together and we need to stick together to survive this. blessings.

      Like 17
      Dislike 9
      • Zero talent says:

        All nice and all, but the government should set the example. Yes you can view it afterwards, but people are very eager for the latest update and simply wait. The culture of letting people wait is too wide spread. And the government is guilty of it too. Tough times. If everybody can step up to make someone else’s life just a bit easier that would be great.

        In the governments case…. be on time. Or just release it when you are done.

        Like 14
        Dislike 3
    • Opps says:

      Sorry meant to say “call”.

    • Rubber Duck says:

      It’s very tough on some who are stuck outside BVI but do not have a home outside BVI.

  2. Lol says:

    It’s called Island time. Lmao ?

    Like 8
    Dislike 3
  3. Wouter says:

    Just to be clear, I live in Tortola so this means I CANNOT go home until June 2? No questions asked?

    Like 10
  4. Stainlessbloke says:

    Gubment need to get it right please. Yesterday you said you will open borders in 30 days from 19th.
    Today I booked my return home and now my ticket is useless. We are real people that are exiled without notice and we request help!

    Like 9
    Dislike 5
    • woh says:

      u can’t read nah?IG you really book you would have spelt government right out of anger.You live baughers bay..at least that’s were I’ve pinned you to.

    • Caribbean Girl says:

      It could probably be changed paying a fee. Just wait until all is explained. It seems that one will need previous authorization, a week before flying in. What happens if one gets Government approval and there are no seats available? Then you will be taken to a hotel to quarantine for 14 days, even if you have no symptoms. All for the greater good.

  5. Nope says:

    They should not be allowed until the country or state they are in issue an all clear.

    Like 9
    Dislike 3
  6. huh says:

    legitimate expectations,good but tough,who will take care of your children for you better than you ?

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  7. Soooo says:

    So no tourists, people that own villas, people who own boats, people who have Villas under construction will be allowed into the Territory until September? Seriously? I guess there has been no consideration to the economic side of the equation. So, no income for restaurants, taxis, bars, tourist purchases, housekeeping, hotels, car rental agencies, etc etc etc. And what in the “first instance” is the economic plan to keep the Territory from dying a slow death because of its leadership. This will all be interesting

    Like 21
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    • Not once says:

      Not once did you mention concern for the safety of the residents. You have economic eyes only.

      Like 21
      Dislike 6
      • Pam Brown says:

        The loss of livelihood, income, and economic fallout is going to be a lot more severe than anything anyone can imagine. This virus is not going away. There is no vaccine. There is an 85% survival rate. 90% for people with no co-morbids. Government over reach…

    • joc says:

      you need to shut your face! our residents are more important than you.

      Like 1
      Dislike 2
  8. Great Thinking says:

    I was speaking to someone about the next move after the 24/7 lockdown since they seem a little worried. Well i told them, don’t worry just look at all the moves that have already been made. The Premier knows what he is doing, he is not acting foolish for sure. He is going to make the next best move.

    Thank you, and may God continue to guide you.

    Like 12
    Dislike 8
  9. Thoughtless says:

    What a thoughtless plan and the ramifications of this will be everlasting. This will completely destroy the economy of the Territory for years to come. The catamaran business will be destroyed. Villa rentals destroyed. Hotels destroyed. What exactly will be the source of income for the people. How will the government pay employees. You’ll all be looking for handouts. Now is the time to make yourselves heard by your politicians. Just because they wear a suit and tie doesn’t make them knowledgeable.

    Like 20
    Dislike 10
  10. Asinine says:

    Limiting points of entry makes sense, but making people arrive through Beef Island only does not. Why not also allow Roadtown Ferry terminal at specified times to match ferry schedule. Don’t make people have to enter via Beef only. It adds unnecessary costs and unreliability.

    Like 10
    Dislike 4
  11. jimmy smith says:

    I am not sure who is responsible for this plan that the government is following, but it seriously remind me of a political action plan without much thought of the after effect. Please do not get me wrong I am no way trying to down play the seriousness of the Covid-19 Pandemic, but we have all of the other issues that have come to bvi shores, I remember catching the chicken gunya, but we did not shut down the place and put a choke hold on especially the small businesses and services business. An to follow with blind loyalty because some people who have no businesses and government employees being rather selfish, some even on the government nipple.
    The present government pride it self with being unconventional, this is going to be the death of us all. Anytime you fail to plan, you plan to fail, the economic impact of these not so well thought government plans will have a lasting effect. After almost a month of lock down still no stimulus plan, my god.

    Like 11
    Dislike 1
  12. voiceofreason says:

    I really cannot agree with the decision to keep the borders closed bearing in mind that we have the recently passed quarantine law that mandates quarantine. Add to that these are BVIslanders and there may well be legal ramifications for locking them out. Then BVIslanders, permanent residents, work permit holders, work permit exemption holders all have obligations to fulfill.

    Visitors can wait until further notice as that sacrifice has to be made, also there is little for them to come to at this stage and who wants to be subjected to 14day quarantine on holiday?

    Cannot support the continual locking out of our own.

    Like 13
    Dislike 3
  13. Soooo says:

    That pretty much leaves essential workers working. Tourism is the territories main income. Where will the locals get help from. There’s no social services, no unemployment insurance and ss board can’t help. This is helpful but the time period is too long. Maybe place more constraints and restrictions. I’m not a resident but I have family there that I check in ever do often.

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
    • @ Sooo says:

      Do you BVI folk realise it will be like this worldwide??? No one is travelling until late December in the least…think about all the countries that have been on lockdown for far longer than you guys. It may be time to think about joining forces with other Caribbean countries and seeing how each can boost their tourism sector…We are alien this together after all!!

      Like 6
      Dislike 6
      • ............ says:

        Actually, many countries’ borders are open to small aircraft, private jets, and small commercial vessels. The UK and US borders are also open. Them keeping their borders open will encourage others to do the same.

        December is definitely a stretch. No country will survive with such restrictions.

  14. Ausar says:

    “Sooo”, you’ve made quite valid observations!

    I guess it’s safe to conclude that the BVI tourist season will reopen after January 2021!

    This spells economic disaster, especially for those in the private sector!

    Yes, we all need to feel and be safe, but we also need continuity in our livelihoods also, Premier!

    …Just a sad situation all around…

    Like 4
    Dislike 2
  15. Anonymous says:

    This is none sense

    Like 1
    Dislike 2
  16. Musa says:

    Pray together for our leaders

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  17. Trainee Advocate says:

    Not to be troublesome here but I strongly believe the Government should take another look at its decision to leave the territory’s borders close to its citizens. The decision to prohibit return of its citizens even at this particular time is almost akin to De jure statelessness. For those who may not know what De jury statelessness is, it is when one lacks an effective nationality which amongst other rights include rights of entry and to reside. The right to entry and residence is Especially important here since one possess the freedom to be in (or return to) his/her country. It is the right to enter that is important here. There is already the requirement to quarantine. In my research the BVI, subject to correction appears to be one of the only countries to close its border to its citizens. Just trying to spark some debate here.

    Like 4
    Dislike 4
    • Agree says:

      I agree with you here Trainee.

      What happens in the instance where a local is abroad and their alotted time in that country expires? What happens if they are unable to get that time extended? Where do they go?

      What happens if a BVI citizen abroad is deported or forced to leave that country for some other reason? Where do they go? Round Rock?

      They will have no home country from which to return in either case.

      On top of that the government is completely closing down the Territory to tourism and business travel for the next three months. Why make that decision now? Covid-19 tests which can provide results in 15 minutes are available now. Why not acquire a sizable number of test kits such as those, and test every single individual who comes into our borders? That may seem costly, but it is way more costly to decide from now that you will be allowing 0 visitors into the BVI for the next 3 months at this time.

      Way too many aspects of this are not well thought out. Sorry.

      Like 8
      Dislike 7
    • Hmmm says:

      … keeping on studying!!!

    • Trainee Barrister says:

      The government has said one thing, but the legislation says something else. Citizens are still permitted to enter the Territory.

      Like 5
      Dislike 2
    • voiceofreason says:

      @Trainee Advocate

      Very good point re De jury statelessness. If their time expired and the immigration decides not to extend what happens them? You are also right that the BVI Constitution protects the right to freedom of movement for persons to return to their country.

      Well it seems the Government has budged on the issue as the gazette SI2020 NO.36, S4 contradicts what was announced and subsequently released to the public.

      (3) Notwithstanding section 21 of the Immigration and Passport Act, any
      other law and subsection (2), a person who falls within the following categories,
      shall be prohibited from entering the Virgin Islands, from the date this Order
      comes into force until the 2nd day of June, 2020, unless the time period prescribed
      herein is extended by the Governor by Order after consultation with the Minister,
      for such further period as may be specified:
      (a) persons enjoying relevant diplomatic or consular or other
      similar privileges by virtue of any Act or in accordance
      with recognised international practice;

      (b) persons who are work permit holders or persons who are
      exempted from the requirement of a work permit;
      (c) persons employed on contract in the service of the
      Government of the Territory; or
      (d) husband, wife or child (dependents) of any person within
      categories (a) to (c), whether travelling with or separately
      from such person.

      4. For the avoidance of doubt section 3 shall not apply to persons who are
      deemed to belong to the Virgin Islands and to persons who are holders of
      certificates of residence under section 18 of the Immigration and Passport Act.

      Like 3
      Dislike 1
  18. The Truth says:

    Citizens and belongers are still able to enter the territory, according to the legislation.

    But the truth of the matter is: there is no way for them to return. No ferries are running; and no airline is going to recommence services for these few individuals. The demand is not there. These persons are stuck wherever they are until the government puts in place a better system for reopening the borders.

    The government knows this. So it does not matter whether or not they prevent BVIslanders from returning. As long as the borders remain closed in this way, they will not be able to return.

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
    • voiceofreason says:

      @The truth

      Depends on where you are coming from I guess. If you are coming from London starting 12th May you can fly to Antigua and get a charter to EIS. From tomorrow you can fly from United States to San Juan and similarly charter to EIS.

      Here is the issue though I am listening to the Premier live from HOA and he is still saying the borders are closed despite what was gazetted.

      Are we missing something?

      Like 4
      Dislike 2
  19. Missing Soggy says:

    We’ve taken 4 trips to the BVI’s from USVI’s and just love it! We re-booked our April trip to August & now it looks like we will have to re-book again? Why make a decision so early when you don’t know what the picture will look like next month? Sorry, but your government must be missing the $70 pp you charge anyone visiting not to mention the loss of revenue to your restaurants/bars. These extended shut downs are unsustainable. Trying to save lives, but destroying lives in the process…

    Like 4
    Dislike 7
  20. Cruiser says:

    How are the cruising boats sheltering in place on the islands for the last 14 days supposed to reprove soon if no private boats are allowed in BVI waters???

  21. Cruiser says:

    Reprovision, food, water, diesel…?

  22. BV1 says:

    IM FROM THE BVI AND EVIN CAN’T COME HOME THE COUNTER WAS LOCK DOWN FOR CLOSE TWO MUNTHS.IF SOME ONE WAS SICK THEY HAD TO COME FORWARD BY NOW. IT IS SO CRAZY THAT U ONLY CAN COME IN THROUGH THE AIRPORT WHAT ABOUT PEOPLE WHO LIVING IN ST THOMAS FROM THE BVI.THE MAIN PROBLEM WAS PEOPL FROM OUTSIDE THE COUNTER.ARE YOU GOINT TO KEEP YOUR BORDERS CLOSED FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR.TOUGH DECISION TO LOCK DOWN AND IT ALSO A TOUGH DECISION TO OPEN .U HAVE TO GET ALL SMALL BUISINESS UP AND RUNNING PEOPLE HAVE TO WORK TO SURVIVE .

  23. ESBBVI says:

    I am a resident who is now stranded in the UK, when the Government allows flights in, and people have to be islolated/quarantined for 14 days, can this be in their own homes or, has the Government made other plans? Does anyone know yet?

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