While noting that he, too, is personally affected, Premier Andrew Fahie has said government’s recent decision to close all local ports of entry was difficult to make but necessary to protect the people of the British Virgin Islands.
The ports officially closed 11:59 pm on Sunday, March 22, and for at least the next two weeks, even the Premier’s children have no access into the BVI.
“I have two daughters away and we were thinking about bringing them back. And it is not an easy decision to make when you know your own will not make it back in because of a decision you have to make,” Fahie stated while speaking on national radio recently.
“We have to do this to secure the lives of our people and try as much as possible to prevent the coronavirus from getting to our shores. But, also, if worse case scenarios [happen], God forbid, [we have to] to also make sure that we can contain it because we only have a certain amount of supplies,” he further explained.
Domestic commuting still allowed
Meanwhile, though the BVI is closed to international traffic, Premier Fahi said domestic commuting is still permitted where persons can continue to travel between the islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke.
He also said persons who had previously arranged to exist the territory prior to the restriction will still be allowed to do so.
“This needs to be conveyed. So if there are persons who need to leave, you can contact the requisite authorities and those will be allowed to leave … That is one of the pre-authorised areas to help anyone who wants to leave the BVI,” the Premier explained.
The temporary travel restriction -which ceases the entry to all inbound passengers including nationals, work-permit holders and visitors - is expected to last up until Monday, April 6, at which point a decision will be made whether to prolong or lift the restriction.