BVI News

Premier declares 30-day ban on all cruise ships; local festivals postponed

This cruise ship was spotted in the BVI on Friday, March 13, 2020.

Effective Saturday, March 14, there will be no more cruise ships calling into to the British Virgin Islands for next 30 days.

In a public statement late Friday afternoon, Premier Andrew Fahie also said the upcoming Virgin Gorda Easter Festival as well as the BVI Spring Regatta will be postponed.

He said these are just some of the measures that his administration will be implementing to prevent the Coronavirus Disease 2019 from entering the shores of the British Virgin Islands. 

He said these decisions came following a series of meetings with a wide cross-section of sectors, including the local business community.

“First, let me inform that on Friday 13th March, the Cabinet of the Virgin Islands convened a Special Meeting and endorsed the decision taken by your Government that effective Saturday, 14th March 2020 no cruise ships would be allowed to call on the territory of the Virgin Islands within a 30 day period , in the first instance.”

He said the decision was ‘unfortunate’ but necessary and the local authorities have communicated the ban to the cruise lines.

Premier Fahie continued: “Cabinet also agreed to the limiting of the number of international ports of entry in terms of passengers to three.”

He said the ports include the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport, the Road Town and West End Ferry terminals, and one cargo port of entry – Port Purcell, “subject to relevant Order or legislative amendment”.

“These measures are necessary to facilitate the effective screening of passengers,” he added.

With regards to the Virgin Gorda Easter Festival, the regatta, and other future mass gatherings; the Premier said events such as those will be be subject to review at a meeting of the National Emergency Operations Centre on Monday, March 16. 

There have been approximately 145,244 coronavirus cases globally with 5,416 deaths and 70,921 persons recovering from the virus.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

47 Comments

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  1. Hmmm says:

    Wise move

    Like 33
    Dislike 3
    • @Hmm says:

      It had to be done. At this point it is safer to stay away from crowds of people because this virus stays in your system for 14 days and you can be walking around with the virus and don’t know. My sister that lives in the States was telling me finding hand sanitizer is hard to get and people is only going out side if they have to. All events are cancelled until further notice.

      Like 16
      Dislike 2
      • Howdy doody says:

        Good call, especially after all the cruise ships cancelled all the proposed visits in the next 30 days – but no doubt the taxi drivers will now be looking for a handout!

  2. Thank you says:

    Thank you Mr. Premier for doing what had to be done for the safety of the Country. This virus will pass but safety first. You did what had to be done. Thank you.

    Like 43
    Dislike 2
    • Reader says:

      I agree.

      Like 13
      Dislike 1
    • Like wise as well says:

      I also want to thank the Premier. This to shall past, we are going through a tough time but we will make it through. Just continue to practice good personal hygiene and stay away from large groups of people. Please people, remember to cover your mouth and nose if you have to cough and sneeze in public. Wipe down those shopping cart handles when you go to the supermarket and clean your hands when you open any doors that is used by the public.

    • Billfargo says:

      Hell! The cruise ships had already cancelled all cruises! So Mr D***h Boy was just a little behind time———

      Like 5
      Dislike 3
  3. Hmm says:

    Only now Take ahyo so long to make those simple Decisions

    Like 11
    Dislike 16
    • Okayyyyyy says:

      Come on Hmm, just stop already. The main thing is it is done.

      Like 16
      Dislike 5
      • Yup says:

        Better that they did this when we don’t have a case than the us method of refusing to test and then waiting until you are riddles with it and only then start blocking entry. Sorry mr president but that horse already bolted. And what’s worse is that because you refused to recognise the problem you have allowed your sick people to continue travelling spreading the virus far and wide.

        Now that they have said that they will start testing properly. I prefect their numbers to shoot up from the current 1,200 cases to 8-9000.

        Like 2
        Dislike 5
        • Confused says:

          Obumma did nothing with the sars outbreak for over a year , 10,000 deaths , but he is a saint, but wait a few dead and lets blame trump for everything you are a sheep that believes ever word the media force feeds you , think for yourself for once, i know that would be new for you

          Like 4
          Dislike 7
        • Hmmm says:

          We let an Italian Cruise ship in this week among others, and St Thomas ferries so sit tight until we find out. Take care of older or unwell family and neighbours. See if we can sensibly support businesses who may be losing out for a few months.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Great move but the 30 day span on cruise ships and Easter festival is middle of April . We somewhat could have the festival remaining seeing it’s a month away?

    Like 1
    Dislike 20
  5. On the hill says:

    If I was a prison guard, I would be concerned because they are working in a closed environment with all those prisoners crowded up on each other.Damnnnnn.

    Like 5
    Dislike 9
    • Be Careful BVI says:

      You talking about prison officers? People whose job is dependent on dealing with the public are at high risk. Receptionists, taximen, welcome ambassadors, police and co.,doctors and co., cashiers, realtors…etc. I am grateful that we are taking these measures to guard ourselves; and possibly controlling the spread of the virus. Now we can concentrate on our small group of people who are seeking to come home during this trying time.

    • Bubba says:

      Might be the safest place

    • No Sir says:

      Prison guards are in one of the safest places right now. If anything the guards are more likely to expose them since they have more interaction with the outside world.

  6. BVI ❣️ says:

    Close all strip clubs….. Especially C******s….

    Like 17
  7. Concerned says:

    Remember to close ports to ships means closing off lively hood to many. Had to protect income of our residents as well

    Like 1
    Dislike 13
  8. oh yeah says:

    I hope the kite flying thing is also postpone.

    Like 2
    Dislike 4
  9. LOL says:

    The cruise industry has cancelled ALL cruises already. No need to declare a “ban’.

    Like 24
    Dislike 13
  10. Nigga says:

    BVI you don’t have to go strip club…. closed of strip club have nothing to do with what going on around the world. You self can be a carrier and you don’t even know.

    Like 2
    Dislike 3
  11. x says:

    maybe suspend all schools

    Like 5
    Dislike 2
  12. Ummmmm says:

    All major cruise lines decided to stop all cruises for the minimum of one month already though… Do we even read any other news. The decision isn’t proactive, cruise lines made this decision already.

    Like 15
    Dislike 4
  13. Well says:

    Seems like we headed for Shutdown

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  14. What!!! says:

    Look at “lol” post all major US cruise lines (Carnival, Disney, etc.) cancelled all voyages for 30 days. No need for the VI ban the Premier try to take credit but the cruise industry announced their stoppage 14 hours or more ago.

    Like 19
    Dislike 10
    • Anonymous says:

      Not all the cruise ships that were scheduled to visit the BVI were cancelled. The Cruise ships that were scheduled for the BVI after March 14th were Norwegian Epic, Costa Magica, Vision of the Seas, Divina, Aida Luna, Tui Explorer, Opera, Aida Diva, Preziosa, Windsurf, Celebrity Edge, Costa Favolosa, Norwegian Encore, Celebrity Summit and Norwegian Breakaway. The ones that cancelled are Norwegian, Aida, Costa, Divina most of which just announced as recent as yesterday. A lot of the cruise lines have just issued warnings on their websites advising patrons that schedule subject to change based on restrictions by the travel destinations. All US cruise lines were cancelled but they do not make up the entire cruise industry.

  15. @Concerned says:

    What do you expect, so you would prefer for the ports to remain open over a dollar? Yes, peoples lively hood may be affected for a bit but people will continue to find a way to get by until this blows over. Right now I am more concern about keeping my family safe from this vicious virus than a damn income.

  16. BvIslander, Maryland says:

    I had to drive for almost one hour to Virginia to BJ’s wholesale club just to get hand sanitizer, dial antibacterial soap and Lysol spray.

    • Jayzus b christ says:

      You could have saved yourself a long trip if you hadn’t been such a sheep and gone panic buying , ironicly being in that supermarket with all those other people panic buying your “risk” probably went through the roof , if you stayed at home you would have zero risk

      Like 5
      Dislike 1
  17. 007 says:

    Since its been confirmed that there is a case of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).in St.Thomas I think we should think about putting a hold on the ferry service to St. Thomas for now.

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  18. Jokes says:

    The Premier didnt do s**t. He was aware from earlier on the day that the ships were cancelling themselves.

    Like 14
    Dislike 7
  19. Ken D says:

    It is going to hurt the BVI and other Islands that depend on a large % of income from tourists. Time to get back to some basics and find or make work and improve the Islands businesses and infrastructure and be ready for the flood when this is over…. BVI can do it, it will be hard but stand together and make it happen….

  20. Anonymous says:

    Thank god good decisions my premier everythings ned to stoto

  21. Anonymous says:

    Thank god good decisions my premier everythings ned to stop

    Like 1
    Dislike 4
  22. YOUTH says:

    I have more confidence during a crisis with this Premier leading rather than the last one.

    Like 4
    Dislike 5
  23. E. Leonard says:

    Cruise tourism is the major source of visitors to the VI and tourism is a major employer that provides direct, indirect and induce employment for hotel workers, taxi drivers, souvenir vendors, beach vendors, boat captains, marina workers, ferry operators, restaurant operators,……..etc. As such, government had to strike a delicate balance between public health and safety and cruise ship arrivals.

    Undoubtedly, suspending cruise arrivals for 30 days was a tough and probably a gut wrenching decision but public health and safety had to be the priority. Protecting the public is a major governing responsibility. The decision probably will exact some financial hardships on taxi drivers, souvenir vendors and others engage in the tourism sector. The question is how can any financial hardships be alleviated?

    Perhaps the HOA can authorize and appropriate a funding package to help affected personnel in the tourism and other areas. Though the focus is on cruise ship 30-day suspension, the other actions are also important in preventing, containing and mitigating the impact of the Novel Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic.

    Like 12
    Dislike 2
    • Disinterested says:

      “Perhaps the HOA can authorize and appropriate a funding package to help affected personnel in the tourism and other areas.“ This is something that is straight out the Swedish Socialist Democratic Workers Party handbook, which promotes cradle-to-grave welfare system. Sweden practices non-revolutionary socialism, which is a soft form, not raw revolutionary, socialism. The VI is a democracy but many of its practices have a democratic socialist tinge, ie, NHI……..etc. I’m not averse to affected workers getting help; just calling a spade a spade.

      Nonetheless, the VI has a national health emergency disaster so the Premier had only one practical choice, ie, he had to suspend cruise ship arrivals for 30 days. Many may say it was not a courageous act, for the cruise lines had already suspended arrivals for 30 days. True, but government had to make it an official government act. Did not the government and cruise lines collaborate on the suspension before it was rolled out and the cruise lines just happen to beat government to it? The suddenness of the effective date tells me that there was collaboration. Cruise ships allegedly seems like sailing petri dishes so it had to be done.

      • Socialism vs Capitalism says:

        Socialism is viewed as bad word that turns off many people across the West. Here is a news flash. There are no countries that employ only socialism and capitalism; they employ a mixture/hybrid of both. The BVI is a capitalist society but if you take a peek around with a keen and objective eye you will see numerous examples of socialism, albeit not the type advocated by Max.

        The type used by Sweden, UK…..etc is not the type advocated by Max; Max was more revolutionary , ie, taking of private property and controlling the factors of production. Anyway, the focus now needs to be on the Covid-19. The Socialsm vs Capitalism debate can be had tomorrow, a brighter day. It will come up in the US presidential election, particularly from the right if Sanders is the left nominee.

  24. Eagle and Buffalo says:

    When the sun is shining brightly or the temperature is moderate decision making is easier; things can just be put on auto pilot. However, when the wind is blowing fiercely and it is raining like cats and dogs, decision making is challenging and separates the men from the boys or the women from the girls. Crisis management is different from run of the mill management.

    Two examples demonstrate this, ie, the Tylenol scare and Exxon Valdez grounding. The Tylenol issue is a good and preferred case study of crisis management. Some of the V.I. big northerly neighbors have failed the crisis management test, for putting self/personal interest ahead of national interest. Though a likle tardy in some instances, Premier Fahie stepped up to the plate and rollout some tough decisions, ie, 30 day cruise ships suspension. Some may say that, that decision was ready made, for cruise lines had already decided to do that to protect their brands and health of customers.
    Nonetheless, government had to make the tough call along with other tough calls to protect the territory and its people.

    [Lets lead like eagles, not careen off the cliff like buffaloes]

  25. Plus Guy says:

    I’ll trade places with anyone on Tortola and even pay the plane ticket if they want to take a chance in Toronto, Canada.

    Stop crying about the petty s**t like who decided to ban the cruise ships and pay attention to the important s**t like not causing an unnecessary panic.

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