Anyone travelling from the British Virgin Islands to the neighbouring United States Virgin Islands (USVI) will have to submit a negative COVID-19 test to USVI authorities within 48 hours of departure.
USVI governor, Albert Bryan Jr made that announcement Thursday afternoon while updating the public on the concerning COVID-19 outbreak in the BVI, which now has more than 1,500 active coronavirus cases.
He said the USVI’s new screening policy becomes effective Monday, July 19.
“I’m asking the people who are coming over, whether on water taxis or whatever — captains we will arrest you. If you don’t have a COVID negative test, please do not enter our waters. We are not playing. Report to Customs [and Border Protection] as you’re supposed to do and we’ll have personnel there to check you for the portal,” Bryan Jr said while further appealing to fraudsters coming from the BVI.
“Please, don’t try to game the system. We’ve already made one arrest and we’ll make others for people trying to forge they way into the US Virgin Islands,” he added; also noting that USVI are also accepting positive antibody test results.
As for persons from the USVI looking to travel to the BVI, the USVI governor advised against it.
But if they must travel, Governor Bryan Jr urged them to stay safe. He further said USVI officials are “under full watch for what is going on in the British Virgin Islands”.
BVI’s current situation far worse than anything USVI ever experienced
He explained that his concern is that the BVI’s current outbreak is multiple times worse than anything that has ever happened in the USVI since the pandemic began more than a year ago.
The BVI’s positivity rate is currently 17 percent while the USVI’s positivity rate is at a much lower three percent.
“I want you to pay close attention to that because the most active cases we’ve ever had in the virgin islands is around 200, and we are three times the size of the British Virgin Islands,” the USVI governor stated.
In the meantime, Governor Bryan Jr said the USVI is working to try to assist the BVI which has recorded at least five COVID-related deaths in the last few days.
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