British Virgin Islands

Saturday, Jul 31, 2021

$10K fine for falsifying vaccine records & COVID-19 tests- Premier

$10K fine for falsifying vaccine records & COVID-19 tests- Premier

The Government of the Virgin Islands (VI) has introduced a $10,000 fine for false traveller declarations relating to COVID-19, according to Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie.

Several persons in the US Virgin Islands (UVI) have been arrested for uploading false information to that territory's travel portal; however, no such incident was reported in the [British] Virgin Islands.

“A fixed penalty of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) on summary conviction would be introduced for producing false documentation such as vaccination records or COVID-19 test certificates,” Premier Fahie said in a June 15, 2021, statement.

The policy, which took effect from June 14, 2021, according to a gazetted order, will add to VI’s reputation of being a relatively COVID-19 safe destination, as well as being known for spectacular sailing, beaches, views, culture and cuisine, the Premier said.

“Tourism, as you know, is one of the economic engines of the BVI. Therefore, as the arrivals further increase the benefits will accrue not just for our accommodation properties, taxi operators, charter boat companies, restaurants, bars and various other tourism businesses, but they will flow into all the other sectors of our economy,” he added.

While it remains unclear when the new measure will take effect, however, Premier Andrew A. Fahie said the fine will add to VI’s reputation of being a relatively COVID-19 safe destination, as well as being known for spectacular sailing, beaches, views, culture and cuisine.


Bookings on the rise!


As it related to increasing tourism numbers, Hon Fahie said that in May 2021, charter boat companies and other stakeholders were reporting that bookings were on the rise, and that some operators are already booked solid for several months ahead.

“Companies in the charter boat industry have reported that this month, which traditionally is not a busy month, is the busiest they have had since the reopening. Some properties and charter companies are contemplating remaining open when they would normally close due to slow business because of the increased demand."

Premier Fahie also indicated that ferry companies are appealing for an increase to the maximum number of passengers that could sail into the VI through the US Virgin Islands (USVI) and reminded that the decision would be one for both the VI and the USVI.

He said as the tourism numbers increase, one hotel in the territory has already reported 60 per cent occupancy in April.

“We anticipate more such positive news,” he said.

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