BVI News

We’re ready! BVI’s tourism industry officially opens today

Terrance B Lettsome Airport

After some eight months of closure, the wait is finally over.

The BVI will start accepting tourists to its shores as of today December 1.

In the coming weeks, businesses in the tourism industry and others indirectly linked to it will be closely monitoring the number of visitors who will arrive at the Terrance B Lettsome airport — the first open port of entry in the territory.

Last night, the government officially opened the airport which has been upgraded with resources and equipment suitable for travel within the COVID-19 era.

Speaking at the official opening ceremony of the airport, Premier Andrew Fahie outlined a number of changes the government has made since the closure of the tourism industry, adding that the BVI is now ready to showcase its tourism product in a manner that is safe for both guests and visitors.

“The changes we have made will reflect that we are ready for you (visitors). The government took a brief hiatus to ensure that we implement health and safety protocols to keep you and our residents safe. We have strategically revised our legislation, improved our medical facilities with equipment, human resource and other tools needed to ensure that we are equipped to manage your health. We are ready for you,” Premier Fahie assured.

He reiterated that businesses and public spaces have implemented social distancing measures and increased sanitization stations to ensure visitors’ health and safety.

“The Terrance B Lettsome airport’s newly-constructed Welcome Centre is the advent of the visitor’s welcome experience and is designed with a lounge, swabbing stations, isolation rooms, restrooms and more. Inside the restrooms, you don’t have to touch anything to get inside… we’ve made everything touchless in the restrooms,” Premier Fahie explained.

Visitors, as well as residents who are hoping to travel to the BVI, have to register via BVI Gateway, where they’ll also upload test results to prove they are COVID-19 free. Visitors will also have to purchase a special COVID-19 app and tracking bracelet to monitor their movements throughout their vacation in the BVI.

Additionally, all visitors will be subjected to a mandatory four-day quarantine upon arrival in the BVI. The BVI’s marine ports are expected to reopen to visitors next week.

The territory has only one active COVID-19 case at this time. Tha patient is a returning resident who is currently under quarantine.

Copyright 2021 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

61 Comments

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  1. Lol says:

    And no ones is coming

    Like 31
    Dislike 7
    • Doh says:

      On your mark, get set, wait, wait, wait, rules have changed, no flights to BVI, site not working, tourists can’t register, get frustrated, give up, go to USVI…. sigh

      SEASON OVER.

      Carry on.

      Like 41
      Dislike 3
      • James Buffalo says:

        Sadly all our winter quests have cancelled, as have the guests of my other villa friends. I suspect will be a very quiet Christmas. Though perfect location for anyone that really wants to get away from it all!
        These measures will though be temporary, UK has approved the Pfizer vaccine for use and soon I suspect the BVI laws will change to requirement to have a vaccine certificate prior to entry. That should make things so much simpler. But that will take time. I pray that everyone remains safe and can survive financially.

    • Yup says:

      The F** had a big 200 person party at the airport, filled his belly and pat himself on the back job well done. The portal doesn’t work, there are no bookings, the quarantine is 4 days in Belonger time, 6 days in the rest of the world. Who wants to stay in quarantine 6 days out of a 7 day vacation. Please raise your hand. The Belonger is not smart but he is devious. That’s why crime is growing with NOBVILovd

      Like 13
      Dislike 7
      • hush says:

        Yup you are welcome to stay where you are until things get to your liking. Heaven help us with people with your mentality travelling here. A person can contract covid while in transit and it is important that people covid status is safe before they go out and spread it not knowing. So if you are abroad, stay there a while longer and we welcome you once you are ready to comply with the rules. You come, spread it and leave while the islands suffer because of your couple dollars? keep it for a while longer.

        Like 1
        Dislike 4
      • Spirit says:

        The Premier and his ministers were repeatedly caught on the camera without their masks on. When they realized they were on camera, the quickly pulled them up.

        Like 2
        Dislike 1
    • Sooo says:

      So let me get this straight. The boat that strayed into BVI waters, was it trying to dock? Answer is NO. Was the boat warned off by the BVI? NO. So, the boat strays into BVI waters, the people are isolated on a boat and instead of turning them around, the smart BVI takes them into custody and forces them into quarantine in a rat and cockroach infested hotel. The reason? To give them a large ridiculous fine and make them pay for quarantine. This is the shit of a banana republic which is what the BVI has become. There is no BVILOVE. Only money hungry government crooks. The Belongers have shot themselves in the foot and this reputation is not going away. The IS should in turn close the borders to the BVI. Stay closed and locked into your little secret.

      Like 22
      • Hmmmmmmm says:

        It is obvious what is going on here. A few months ago, there was a similar incident where two Caribbean nationals came in BVI waters without permission to enter. They claimed that they contact a local agent etc. They still had to do 14 days quarantine? What is the problem now? Laws are Laws…..trying going into the US waters without permission and see what happens.

        Like 1
        Dislike 1
      • US Sailor says:

        This story has gone viral. I’m going to sail from Louisana to Antigua, via St Thomas. No way I will consider visiting the BVI. Your Customs Officers didn’t practice discretion, now the country will lose $ millions

      • Rubber Duck says:

        To h**l with the U.S. They should be telling people don’t visit the U.S as they are the most unruly, disrespectful people. Who are they to advise people from travelling to all the small islands. Because we are not allowing them to come and mess up our health and disobey our laws? We welcome everybody, but if you can’t come and behave yourself, stay where you is. Tell state department to go clean up their own house first

        Like 5
        Dislike 10
        • Rubber Duck says:

          Use your own name , or can’t you think of one?

          Whatever you think, and who,cares, 90% of our tourists come from the USA.

    • Best says:

      Here’s the best advertising for the opening day of tourism.

      https://www.foxnews.com/world/american-group-detained-for-accidentally-sailing-in-british-virgin-island-waters

      The government of the BVI and the Governor should be ashamed of themselves. I sincerely hope that the U.S. retaliates. Closing U.S. points of entry to BVI citizens comes to mind.

      Like 7
      Dislike 1
  2. Lol says:

    Which tourist are you accepting again
    When you clearly state your stupid rules that makes no sense
    Only an idiot will come here to spend more money to quarantine that there vacation
    And besides what y’all doing to those four white ppl making it worst
    You can’t want to theorize ppl and hold them hostage for random and expect them to come here
    Into read the news the US advising there US citizens to rethink before the make bookings for the BVI
    The BVI going down and Andrew Fahie and his circus is to be blame

    Like 31
    Dislike 9
    • Virginia says:

      Been to the BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS THREE TIMES ON VACATION, WILL NOT BE BACK. WE DON’T WANT TO BE HELD HOSTAGE. THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS HAVE DONE SERIOUS DAMAGE TO THEIR TOURIST INDUSTRY. I FEEL MORE SAFER VACATIONING IN ST. THOMAS OR ST. JOHN.

      Like 22
      Dislike 10
      • Hmmm says:

        Check where you get your info. We don’t hold people hostage in the BVI. However persons who break the law are arrested like you guys do in the US and everywhere else in the world!

        You had friends from Virginia arrested recently?

        Also just to let you know St thomas is nice – not a nice as the BVI – but they do also arrest persons who enter illegally as well.

        Like 4
        Dislike 2
    • Please... says:

      It should be longer than a week. We have to protect our people.

      Like 8
      Dislike 14
  3. Reporting? says:

    How many are expected today? This week?
    This information should be known from the portal and government. Can you do real reporting and give the numbers?

    Like 49
    Dislike 2
  4. Wow says:

    Just a joke again
    Have you try to apply
    A nightmare,

    Like 22
    Dislike 1
  5. USA says:

    No one is coming. My Family is afraid that they might get held in the BVI like the Tourist from Virginia and South Carolina. My booking agent advised us to stay out of the BVI.

    Like 22
    Dislike 7
    • nonsense says:

      Those ppl from Virginia entered the BVI waters illegally while strict rules applied for boarder protection because the BVI has had an increase in Illegal entry during COVID. What happens when u enter any country illegally? think before u talk.

      Like 14
      Dislike 8
      • Increase? says:

        @ Nonsense: you mean an increase in people getting caught? How many illegal entrants here came on a fancy US flagged sailboat pretenting to go to Waterlemon Cay in St. Johns?

      • The question is says:

        That is on the Captains Head. They were on a charter, how were they expected to know that they were entering BVI WATERS? Another thing, the Captain was willing to pay the fine VIA CREDIT CARD AND IT WAS TURNED DOWN. OHHHH, I GET IT, IF IT WAS PAYMENT IN CASH, THEY WOULD HAVE GLADLY TAKEN THE CASH TO LINED SOMEONE’S POCKET.

        Like 11
        Dislike 3
  6. Boston says:

    We were advised to not vacation in the BVI due to the fact that one may get held hostage. THE TRAVEL COMMUNITY WAS ADVISED TO GO TO ANOTHER DESTINATION IN THE USVI.

    Like 22
    Dislike 6
    • Hi Boston says:

      You were advised badly. Hope you didn’t pay for that advice. The BVI has never held anyone hostage.

      Hope you’ve checked out the USVI properly. It’s ok but not as nice as the BVI.

      Like 3
      Dislike 2
  7. you have to understand to fix says:

    Government; open your eyes please. You have to look from the outside in to understand why peoples are not coming to the territory this year. You have to open your eyes to understand how this will affect and effect our tourism industry. Please realize that the majority of tourists bring with them a family whereby each individual has to encounter and $175 charge on top of the charge for their Covid insurance. Then lets add to that the requirement for each person over the age of 5 years to have their own cellular phone that has a Data package and Roaming for app tracking purposes ….so lets look at this in terms of costing for the average family of 4 persons for 11 days
    App and bracelet and PCR test $700.00
    Covid Insurance (avg per family) $800.00
    Cell phone plan(50.00 each) $200.00 Roaming charges (each $12 per day) $150.00

    So just these few items add an additional
    $1850.00 per family of 4 persons. This does not
    include the extra 4 days required for quarantine to enjoy a 7 day charter.

    So really Government; ask yourselves this….Would you as an individual be able to afford such a trip for your family? Somehow I believe that the answer would be NO. Please understand that the average person cannot afford these extra expenses before even looking at the cost of their family holiday.

    We all understand the importance of keeping all persons safe from Covid but this is not about keeping peoples safe, rather this is about the costs that have to be boor by your visitors. Please realize that your Government would be much better off by not charging the $175.00 for the app,braclet and tests but rather look at picking these funds up through tourists dollars being spent within the territory. This reduction of fees in itself would encourage guests to come and show good faith to your visitors.

    Now the other hornets nest you are failing to understand is the 48 hour rule for uploading information to your visitors portal. The rules state UPLOAD ALL INFORMATION 48 HOURS BEFORE TRAVEL. Now lets look at this; please remember that your guests are travelling from all corners of this great world. How the heck can a visitor upload within 48 hours, then book travel, and then get into BVI within the allotted 5 days before the PCR TEST results are null and void. When you look at this there is no issue with the 5 days but rather just the 48 hours. Your visitors have to be able to travel before having their PCR test results loaded into the portal in order for them to arrive on time. There are also individuals who will upload the PCR test just hours before arrival then as this is not 48 hours before arrival, will these persons be turned away for not having an entry certificate when they try to check in on their departing flight?

    Please understand the above concerns, and it would serve you in great stead to examine these items before moving forward into your reopening.

    I am just giving it to you as it is seen from the other side of the fence. Fore warned is to be Fore seen. Please do not let ignorance stand in the way of our tourism sector. This is not about quarantining rather it is about the extra costs that the government should not be expecting visitors to pay. Visitors come to spend money in our territory; lets welcome them back with BVILOVE by making the processes a little bit friendlier.

    Like 23
  8. Ready? says:

    What do you mean by ready? The portal isn’t working.

    Like 22
  9. Would have been Tourist says:

    We were advised to reconsider our Travel plans to the BVI. No one want to Travel to a place where you might end up being held hostage in a seedy HOTEL. BOOKING AGENTS ARE ADVISING THEIR CLIENTS TO STAY AWAY FROM THE BVI AND CONSIDER OTHER TRAVEL VACATION DESTINATIONS.

    Like 16
    Dislike 5
  10. Have you? says:

    Honest question. What were the major stumbling blocks?

  11. Ausar says:

    Until the seaports are open without restrictions, it’s just not going to be the same!

    Like 17
    • @Ausar says:

      Well that is not going to happen. So enjoy your visit to the open with no restriction destination.

      Like 5
      Dislike 2
    • Canceled says:

      “DON’T WANT TO BE HELD HOSTAGE IN THE BVI”. SEEMS LIKE THE PAYING TOURIST IS TARGETS IN THE BVI. THEY WANT US TO COME, SPEND OUR MONEY AND GET THE F**K OUT. JUST IMAGINE THE HORROR OF BEING HELD HOSTAGE IN A PLACE BEING AWAY FROM YOUR FAMILY. THE BVI IS ON THE BLACK LIST. AS A TOURIST, YOU ARE BETTER OFF GOING TO THE USVI OR PUERTO RICO.

      Like 7
      Dislike 5
      • townie says:

        They are not being held hostage. They entered through closed borders. Now they have to quarantine for 14 days just like every other resident who legally entered the BVI. Tourist can come in legally through the airport.

        Like 7
        Dislike 3
  12. Sour grapes says:

    Stop your stupid noise and lies. There is no place in the world right now that do not have restrictions. We know all about when you cannot get the grapes you say it is sour.

    Like 17
    Dislike 5
  13. @Ausar says:

    Well that is not going to happen. So enjoy your visit to the open with no restriction destination.

  14. Bo says:

    Is there going to be a band at the airport? A free rum drink? Dancers in colorful costume ?
    Anything showing BVI Love? Just thought we could do something friendly and employ some locals at the same time.

    Like 4
    Dislike 2
  15. awa says:

    It’s people like you who are making it bad for the BVI and the tourism industry talking a whole lot of things that are not true only an idiot like you will be talking the bull you are talking.
    From what I read in the news the people were told that they were charged for entering in the BVI without permission because the borders were closed. These people are saying that they are been held for ransom they are been held on quarantine and like anywhere else when they have to pay their fine they can leave.

    Just a few days ago someone got 2 years for entering the USVI illegally. The BVI had to crack down on the border.

    If you are sailing from St. Thomas to St.Jhon how can you end up 1.5 miles the BVI waters by accident make your tack shorter, the captain should have known better.

    Like 10
    Dislike 3
  16. MK says:

    Virginia: YOU ALWAYS BELEAVE WHAT YOU READ? IF YOU BEEN THE BVI THREE TIMES ON VACATION THEN YOU HAVE TO BELEAVE WHAT THESE PEOPLE ARE SAYING IS NOT TRUE THEY BRAKE THE LAW AND THEY KNOW BETTER THAN WHAT THEY ARE SAYING BUT LIKE SOME AMERICANS WHEN THE BRAKE LAW AND IS CHARGED THEY SPREAD BAD THINGS ABOUT THE PLACE.

    Like 7
    Dislike 5
  17. Keep the faith says:

    Only residents are coming to the bvi. Travel agents around the world are advising travel not to go to the bvi because of the strick rule by the premier.

  18. Best prison ever! says:

    I don’t get the comments above. We’re coming in three weeks and we can’t wait. So we have to test, it won’t be our first tests. So we have to quarantine, we’re basically stuck in our house here anyhow. I’d rather be stuck on the boat, sailing in your beautiful waters. I think your requirements make sense, and once we’ve tested negative on day 4, I’ll feel much safer knowing that the other tourists have too. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think your government handled it any better than mine, but I’m grateful to be able to return to the BVI even if it comes with additional hoops.

    Like 19
    Dislike 4
    • Lucky says:

      Well, at Best Prison Ever…you are fortunate to be in such a position as to be able to afford the extra time and fees. It’s not so much that the requirements don’t make sense, it’s more that they are utterly impractical for any one living in the BVIs wanting to go shopping in St. Thomas for the day, at a time when the shelves in shops are looking a little bare, all this right before Xmas. There is no right answer to this dilemma but taking measures that aim at zero risk is not the right approach. And, it bears noting that many if not most cases of COVID in the BVIs resulted from people entering under the radar.

  19. Tourist says:

    No tourist is going to the BVIs to be held hostage. The government took too long and still does not have it right. Sorry BVIs. It was my favorite place. We will go to other islands now.

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  20. GOOD GOING says:

    Thank you Mr. Premier and all who are involved to ensure that the protocols are in place. Don’t mind the bullies who expect us to just throw our doors open. The approach seems fair and balanced. Let’s see how we manage. God bless this little nation!

    Like 4
    Dislike 6
  21. Common Sense says:

    We loved the BVI for 30+ years. But in the last 5, it has changed. The rules seem to depend on the government employee that you encounter. Customs and immigration officers are rude. Most facilities are broken and dirty. Trash is everywhere. Service at most places comes with a snarl. I will always love their people and their natural beauty is hard to match – but their tourism product leaves so much to be desired that we gave up trying. I hope they can find their way to correct these problems – if and when they do, we’ll be back.

    Like 24
    Dislike 1
  22. Utter nonsense says:

    Headline: “We’re ready!”
    What BS!

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  23. Heckler says:

    Let’s wait and see if after all of their bungling of Covid if we have any season at all.

  24. Anonymous says:

    It is quite apparent that there is an individual that is pregnant with hate for the BVI and Belongers.

    Wow! So far ninety percent of the comments appear written and posted by the same individual.

    He she lives every moment of life wishing for the down fall and death of the BVI.

    Like 3
    Dislike 5
  25. Wow says:

    You say you ready
    How come I had a apointment today and ………….

  26. Tom says:

    speaking as an outsider:
    Well, the people of the BVI will know what is best for them. They will see if this new opening works or doesn’t work by simply looking at their bank accounts.

    The BVI is extremely conservative with their response to COVID-19.

    I think they have committed financial suicide when they started the lockdown and the new opening is not really an opening (just a second bullet to the head) but it seems that the BVI is able to withhold so maybe its ok.

    The gov made the choice to protect the living in poverty over dying (which probably bring poverty as well?) sounds reasonable 🙂

    Is there something in between? Enough countries have something easier to follow and I dont think the BVI tried them … they simply took zero chance from day 1.

    But that it the BVI gov and the BVI people choice. Tourist have their own choice and they will make it …

    The only valid perspective a a tourist can offer to the locals is:

    As someone who was planning on visiting the BVI, I am about to cancel my visit for the second time. The opening conditions/terms are not workable. Canceling the plans (or delaying them by another year in this case) again will simply result in me finding alternative destinations. Your visitors will not do it two years in a row. They will simply find a destination that is easier to reach and vacation on.

    No comment from me on hostages 🙂

  27. Hmmmmmmm says:

    It is obvious what is going on here. A few months ago, there was a similar incident where two Caribbean nationals came in BVI waters without permission to enter. They claimed that they contact a local agent etc. They still had to do 14 days quarantine? What is the problem now? Laws are Laws…..trying going into the US waters without permission and see what happens.

    Like 1
    Dislike 5
  28. Txcatsailor01 says:

    I just love how all of the “locals” are defending their arduous requirements and at the same time wondering why they are starving and cannot seem to earn a living outside of gubment handouts.

    Let me cue you “locals” in. Outside of the major cites around the US, people are living their lives as normal. You have been fed non-stop big government propaganda for the last year. I have worked everyday for the last 8-9 months minus about a week that I took off when all of this started. I work in other peoples homes every day. I wear a mask most all of the time.
    I went through a very short sickness that lasted about 36 hours and then it was done. My wife and family, had about the same. Now, it is a non issue.
    Most everyone I know has had a short spell of flu like symptoms and then life carries on as normal! Notice that everyone is wearing a mask and NOTHING has really changed. If you have a Co-Morbidity STAY SAFE! Otherwise, get on with you life!
    I have seen TV, as well, blast 24/7 doom and gloom. If you choose to go through life buying into that nonsense, then be my guest. But please hold your whining and complaining about you and your country’s terrible economic situation.

    Like 3
    Dislike 5
  29. Boatman says:

    I miss the days where you could sail into cane garden bay and Mr. Stanley would literally welcome you and host a good time. Not much red tape and politics in those days. It was a pleasure to drop a few coins in the cup of the gentleman at the toll Bridge from the airport as a parting gift as if to say a symbolic “thank you” to such wonderful hosts.

    What the BVI has become in recent years hasn’t improved the culture, quality of life, or attractiveness of the territory. But hey, I’m just a visitor…who canceled his charter 3 times now. The Moorings now allows us to use credit in other destinations. I am wondering what’s out there in the world like the BVI of yesteryear. There are plenty like it. But it was the local people that made the BVI special. Good values…churches on Sundays. Neighborly love…giving anyone a ride over the top was the norm. Safe villages…I knew of a jeep owner who always parked the jeep with the keys in it and never had a problem.

    Perhaps the people ought to recruit some very old people to run for elected office? Bring back what was great about the BVI…and that isn’t found at the cruise ship dock. The old timers would know what to do and they would perform better than what’s going on today. Really…go find some old people and put them on some advisory boards or something. Sometimes so called “progress” is actually not helping.

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
  30. ZManandABoat says:

    Can we hear from tourists that are actually there?

  31. Tourist says:

    I am an American tourist that visited the BVIs 4 time per year. This situation is sad. I will miss my friends and the islands but I will NOT be back. The government has ruined the islands and I would not bring my family and friends to this 3rd world country.

  32. Tom says:

    The numbers are coming in … claimed to have 100 people coming in in the last two days …

    it was reported as “great results” – if that how success looks like … then maybe there is hope for the BVI … but somehow, can’t see how those 100 will make themselves to be anywhere close to 1M.

  33. BVI BVI BVI says:

    Its clear the commenters on this page are smoke screens. BIG Mouths Yapping Away, hiding behind IP addresses, while the Tourists are here! And they are coming!

    I love BVI

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