Despite government’s reopening of beaches across the British Virgin Islands, residents are prohibited from accessing at least two of these attractions on Virgin Gorda.
This is according to Minister for Natural Resources Vincent Wheatley, who announced in a recent statement that The Bath’s and Devil’s Bay will remain closed until further notice.
He also said that until an update is given from the government, no animals are allowed on any beach or in the water, and residents must not be seen walking their pets there.
Beaches to be closely monitored by RVIPF
With a number of restrictions imposed by government on beach usage — including a strict 6 am to 1 pm allowance period — Minister Wheatley said the most highly frequented beaches across the territory will be monitored by the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force.
He said: “Persons visiting any of the beaches must adhere to safe distancing protocols and mass gathering restrictions … Activity on the beaches will be closely monitored and the beaches may be closed should people not comply with the safe distancing protocols and mass gathering restrictions.”
Minister Wheatley said the list of Tortola beaches that will be monitored include Brewer’s Bay, Cane Garden Bay, Josiah’s Bay and Smuggler’s Cove. The list also included Long Bay Beach on Beef Island.
On Virgin Gorda the beaches to be monitored include Savannah Bay and St Thomas Bay. White Bay beach was listed for the sister island of Jost Van Dyke.
Only approved vending allowed
Minister Wheatley also said vendors with a valid license to operate on beaches will be allowed to do so, only if inspected, approved and certified by the Environmental Health Division and the Social Distancing Task Force.
“These establishments must meet all requirements related to COVID-19. You should all ensure sanitisation, safe distance and hygiene modifications of your establishments to facilitate inspections and certification from the Social Distancing Task Force,” he stated.
Hundreds flock beaches on reopening day
Meanwhile, hundreds of residents were seen on beaches on Tortola when the attractions reopened on Sunday.
More than 100 persons were seen at Smuggler’s Cove beach and at least 50 beachgoers were seen at Josiah’s Bay.
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