BVI News

USVI’s relaxed travel protocols linked to their rising COVID cases

The Cyril E King Airport in the USVI.

Detected flaws in the neighbouring United States Virgin Islands’ (USVI) travel protocols have been linked to a further increase of positive COVID-19 cases in the that territory. The USVI detected 58 new cases in two days to now jump to 179 active cases.

This is according to an article published by the Virgin Islands Consortium on Saturday.

The news agency said one of their reporters, while returning to the USVI, noticed that some passengers travelling on the same flight as the reporter did not have COVID-19 test results but were allowed to exit the airport after merely filling out a document.

In response to the observed flaws, USVI Governor Albert Bryan issued a statement saying his administration will be working to resolve the issue within the coming weeks by introducing mandatory testing and fines for non-compliant persons.

He said: “Individuals who come to the territory without a negative test will be mandated to be tested at a personal cost … Those who refuse to be tested will be fined and subject to a 14-day quarantine.”

“The only delay to this being implemented is the availability of tests and testing, as well as the software changes needed for a smooth transition to this format … We were successful in joining the new initiative by American Airlines to provide pre-boarding testing and will continue to pursue this with other airline partners,” the USVI governor added.

BVI taking a sterner approach

In contrast to the USVI’s approach to travel protocols, the BVI has taken a stern approach with their protocols for all persons entering into the territory.

In order for travellers to be granted access into the BVI, they must first register to the BVI Gateway Portal no later than 48 hours before their trip. Once on the portal, the traveller will be required to input all the relevant information, including a mandatory negative COVID-19 test result.

The portal will also facilitate the payment of the $175 fee, which covers all airport administration fees, another COVID test upon entry and on Day 4 of their arrival, and GPS monitoring bracelets.

Once the registration has been successfully completed, the traveller will receive a travel certificate which will be issued to the airline prior to travel to the BVI. All persons entering the territory will be subjected to a mandatory four-day quarantine period.

Fines for all breaches 

To ensure that these measures are adhered to, the BVI government took a further step to pass legislation that allows for all persons in breach of any of the measures to be fined.

Persons who tamper with any of the monitoring devices can be fined $125, unauthorised visits during quarantine will reward a fine of $500, while any person in breach of any of guidelines or protocols will be fined $1,000.

Low case numbers to date

This approach has led the BVI in maintaining a very low positive COVID-19 case total following their December 1 reopening date. Since the reopening, officials were able to detect three positive COVID-19 cases which were all caught during the quarantine phase.

The BVI’s stern approach to their COVID-19 protocols also led to authorities pushing the December 8 date for the reopening of local sea borders to January 21, 2021.

This is to allow the authorities more time to put in place the necessary systems to ensure the Road Town Ferry Terminal is fully capable to safely manage customers come January next year.

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  1. Sense says:

    Why is there so much alarm about COVID up until now? 98% of the people that get it recover fully without any form of medication so what am I missing? I agree we need to protect those most vulnerable like the elderly, those with pre-existing health issues etc. but this is not just for COVID, these vulnerable people need protection from Dengue, Flu and everything else. We need to just move on with life and stop the stupid panic behavior. It is flu season and everyone is shocked that people are getting sick and dying as if it does not happen every year around this time.

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    • rrr says:

      Stupid arrogant comment with skewed, fabricated statistics. You have no idea what you are talking about. You really think you know better than epidemiologists, public health experts and health organisations the world over?

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      • @rrr says:

        So we are in the height of flu season and nobody is dying from the flu? And that makes sense to you? The poster is also correct, which other dangerous illness do you know of where it’s possible for you to be ‘infected’ and all you have to do in order to get ‘cured’ is stay isolated for 14 days. How dangerous is that?

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        • Mumu Them thick sah says:

          For those of us from the BVI that live stateside and watching our numbers with more people dying from this now than their were before we applaud the BVI for being so strict. All it takes is for one fool to mess it up for everyone down there. More people have died from this than many other illnesses and in fact if you look at the most deadliest days in American history, last time I checked covid had 3 or 4 of top ten and those days are all since November 1. So keep your ignorant mouths shut and stop spreading false stuff.

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  2. MD says:

    The USVI and BVI have similar enough geography and population to make some logical comparison. Having just returned from USVI I also have personal observation. Comparison of USVI to BVI population suggests that BVI would have experienced about 6 Covid-19 related deaths by now if similar protocols as USVI were adopted in BVI. That is 5 additional from what BVI has reported already. Observation of USVI indicates a workable tourism burden with people traveling, staying in lodging, chartering boats, eating at restaurants, buying retail items, enjoying the beach. Masks, distancing, limited seating are honored. A large fraction of the positive tests in USVI seem to be asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic young people. Hospital is not full of sick people and no deaths in months. The BVI government is protecting its citizens from a virus, but the cure (prevention) may actually be worse than the disease

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  3. Other side says:

    Spike in USVI actually attributed to a party in STX over Thanksgiving. But you knew that, didn’t you?

  4. :) says:

    A lot of people talking about the recovery rate of Covid19 but what they fail to realize is this is a new virus that is about a year old. The virus is so new that they have not done any extended studies to know what the possible long term side effects will be. They are learning everything from scratch. Just because they “recover” now doesn’t mean they cant get some kind of breakout or complication later.

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  5. panna man says:

    Stop arguing corona virus is very dangerous chill out.

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  6. panna man 2 says:

    The bvi needs some testing rapid lambogini testing bad.

  7. Spirit says:

    Still only two people, thank God, hospitalized in the USVI due to COVD-19.

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