CDC Raises BVI's COVID-19 Threat Level, Warns Against Non-Essential Travel
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has raised the COVID-19 threat in the Virgin Islands to Level 3, warning United States travelers against non-essential travel to the Territory.
According to a new travel advisory issued on Monday, August 31, the CDC indicated that the COVID-19 risk in the British Virgin Islands is high.
"Over the last 14 days, new cases of COVID-19 in the British Virgin Islands increased. CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential international travel to the British Virgin Islands. Some examples of essential travel may include traveling 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 advisory stated.
The CDC warned that if you get sick in the British Virgin Islands and need medical care, resources may be limited.
The BVI has moved from 8 positive cases on May 28th to 47 positive cases as of August 31.
The government has considered placing the Territory in a 24hr lockdown following the increased cases, but Governor Augustus Jaspert announced today, September 1 that a new Curfew Order will come into force tomorrow for two weeks from Wednesday, September 2.
The Governor explained that there will be a hard lockdown from 1:01 p.m. each day until 5:00 a.m. each morning, which means that residents must stay within the confines of their home or yard between the curfew hours.
"Let me start by saying, we are not introducing a full 24-hour lockdown in BVI," the Governor stated earlier today.
Currently, the Territory is closed to tourists and as such the CDC warning may not have as big an impact on the Territory. The Territory has placed entry restrictions on U.S. travellers.
Currently, the Government's protocol in motion is for the controlled re-entry of Nationals and Permanent Residents to the Virgin Islands during this COVID-19 Pandemic.
After much public debate, the Government has implemented a similar protocol for work permit and work permit-exempt holders to return.