Health Minister Carvin Malone said the government has been observing COVID-19 protocols of other countries but has not seen a better alternative than the four-day quarantine period being considered for overnight tourists who will visit the BVI.
Malone made the confession at a community meeting on Jost Van Dyke on October 22 after a resident explained that businesses on the island will not benefit if tourists are required to quarantine for four days.
The resident said most tourists’ vacations are for a maximum of 7 days and using 4 for quarantine doesn’t make much economical sense.
In response, Minister Malone reiterated that the four-day quarantine period is the best option the government has been presented with to date.
He said many persons have suggested testing visitors upon arrival and releasing them once they return negative results.
But the Minister said such practices have caused COVID-19 spikes in neighbouring countries like the Bahamas, St Lucia and Barbados.
Gov’t must insist on a four-day quarantine
He said it is prudent for the government to insist on a four-day quarantine period for the first few months after the territory’s reopening until the world finds better ways to control the COVID-19 virus.
“We’ve been looking at tourist destinations to see to those who have kept the protocols, those who have not kept the protocols and those who are suffering because they have gone too early in the release,” Malone explained.
Recently, Premier Andrew Fahie said the government was considering requesting pre-travel tests before visitors arrive.
Providing they are confirmed negative, persons will be allowed to travel to the BVI but will be re-tested by local health officials before undergoing “a short quarantine period”.
However, it is still not clear if the Cabinet has approved this suggestion. Premier Fahie is expected to give clarity on the subject in an address to the territory on October 26.
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