Premier Andrew Fahie has said the December 1 date to reopen the British Virgin Islands to tourism is to allow the territory sufficient time to have all the necessary systems in place to ensure a safe reopening process.
Speaking at the launch of the BVI Tourist Board’s rebranding initiative on Monday, the Premier said the measures will incorporate the usage of technology and rigourous testing.
He said reopening local tourism comes with a great risk so technology will help to minimize the spread of COVID-19, should it seep into the territory.
“The concentration must be to use the technology through a simulation prior, to demonstrate that the technology will complement the science to greatly assist us in reopening the safest way humanly possible,” the Premier stated.
“Through our requisite officials, we have to use contact tracing methods available through technology, where we would test and retest the system prior to our reopening. That is why we need the time to ensure the measures that are going to be put in place are working effectively,” he added.
Stakeholders must work together
Fahie, who has portfolio responsibility for tourism, further said all the stakeholders must work together and cooperate with the authorities if the welcoming of tourists back in the territory is to become a reality.
“All boards, agencies and sectors of government, the private sector and the public will be engaged so that no one will be left out, so we can explain the measures to be rolled out and get further input because we are in this together,” Premier Fahie said.
He added: “We will meet with BVICCHA, car rental companies, hoteliers, personnel from Crafts Alive, airline operators, the marine sector, taxi operators, restaurant owners, villa operators; no business will be left behind.”
Premier Fahie said the BVI has only one shot at getting this venture right and appealed to all businesses and the public to abide by the relevant COVID-19 protocols to minimize any spread of the virus should additional cases arise.
Confirmed cases – 71
Active cases – 9
Recoveries – 61
Deaths – 1
Number of Persons Tested – Over 4,400
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