British Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2021

Exceptional Conditions! Health Minister To Grant Waivers For Pre-Arrival COVID-19 Tests

Exceptional Conditions! Health Minister To Grant Waivers For Pre-Arrival COVID-19 Tests

Minister of Health and Social Development, Hon. Carvin Malone has announced plans to waive, in some cases, the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing requirement for returning belongers and residents only.

The Minister disclosed that recognising that a number of persons continue to be challenged with obtaining COVID-19 rt-PCR results for entry within the stipulated time due to the high demand in various countries, Cabinet decided to allow for the processing of waivers of the pre-arrival test in exceptional and verifiable circumstances.

"Such request will be considered and approved by the Minister for Health and Social Development in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer," the Minister said on Wednesday, December 17.

He disclosed that under these exceptional circumstances, such persons will be required to remain in quarantine for an extended period of seven to 14 days with an additional rt-PCR test administered at the end of the on-island quarantine.

"A negative test result must attain before release," Hon. Malone stated.

On November 6, 2020, Cabinet decided that Phase III Testing Protocol, requires rt-PCR testing at various intervals and sites for all arriving travellers in order to manage the risk of COVID-19 transmission. While quarantine requirements have been reduced to four days, travellers are required to produce their rt-PCR test results prior to travel.

Cabinet decided that a Certified RT-PCR COVID-19 negative test within five days prior to arrival for all travellers from low risks countries; and within three days prior to arrival for all travellers from medium and high risks countries. A test on arrival, which if negative, allows controlled movement within the confines of an approved property; and a test after four complete days of quarantine, which if negative, allows movement within the Territory.

A traveller who tests positive before arrival will not be allowed to enter the Virgin Islands and that if a visitor tests positive for the virus at any stage upon arrival will require 14 days quarantine on an approved vessel or property.

Currently all travellers will be required to download the approved app and must be issued a Travel Certificate.

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