This comes after Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) on October 26, 2020, announced that the VI government would require tourists to take a total of 4 tests before they are allowed unrestricted movement in the territory.
However, the announcements have since sparked concerns that the Government’s COVID-19 PCR protocols may be excessive and would deter prospective tourists from even considering the Virgin Islands as a destination.
Honourable Carvin Malone (AL) has said that Government cannot jump on ideas solely because it is being popularly supported or proposed by the VI community.
According to the Health Minister, during a Tuesday, October 27, 2020, press conference alongside the Premier, while the 14-day quarantine is not feasible to build a tourism product as determined by medical professionals, he said reducing it to four days means more requirements.
“There's a requirement that the test that is going to be accompanied on the eighth day is to make sure that we reduce the percentage of possible occurrence of the virus. That seems to be the most concern that we have in terms of the number of tests,” he said.
“We are going to look at this, but it must be looked at by the medical professionals, we cannot arbitrarily just say well we don't want an 8-day test because we don't feel it is necessary, we might be doctors overnight but epidemiologists we are not.”
The Minister said, therefore, the administration will have to consider the science behind the COVID-19 virus and determine what risk percentages the Government is willing to allow in the territory.
Health Minister Hon Carvin Malone (AL) said while a 14-day quarantine is not feasible to build a tourism product as determined by medical professionals, he said reducing it to four days means more requirements.
“If our citizens are telling us that it could be looked at in other ways that we can implement the safety of it, we are prepared to look at it and have our professionals look at this, not the politicians, not the leaders but to have the medical team look at what may well be best.”
The Minister warned; however, that the Government cannot jump on ideas solely because it is being popularly supported or proposed by the VI community.
“If we have an outbreak tomorrow the same people who would be looking critically at the measures put in place, will be the very same ones that will turn around the criticism in terms of, what have you done.”
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