Stating the territory’s resources may be limited to handle severe illness caused by COVID-19, the Centres for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has issued a warning against travel to the British Virgin Islands at this time.
The CDC’s risk assessment of the BVI classified the territory as having Level 3 COVID-19 transmission status, which means the risk of contracting the virus in is “high and new cases are increasing”.
It, therefore, urged travellers to “avoid” and consider postponing essential and non-essential travel to the territory.
“Within the last 14 days, new cases of COVID-19 in the British Virgin Islands increased. If you get sick in the British Virgin Islands and need medical care, resources may be limited,” the CDC said in an August three advisory.
It continued: “Some examples of essential travel may include travelling for humanitarian aid work, medical reasons, or family emergencies. Older adults, people of any age with certain underlying medical conditions, and others at increased risk for severe illness should consider postponing all travel, including essential travel to the British Virgin Islands.”
The CDC also informed travellers that the current policy in the territory may include being tested and quarantined for 14 days because of the virus.
“If you test positive on arrival, you may be required to isolate for a period of time. You may even be prevented from returning to the United States, as scheduled. If you get exposed to a person with COVID-19 while abroad, you may be quarantined or not be permitted to return to the United States until 14 days after your last exposure,” it stated.
There are now 47 positive cases in the territory — a large number of which emerged in recent times.
Notably, Premier Andrew Fahie has said there are only eight ventilators available in the territory.
Ventilators are machines used to assist persons to breathe. Severe COVID-19 cases usually require the use of ventilators.