British Virgin Islands

Friday, Jan 15, 2021

Expected visitors to rack up extra $$ for COVID-related accessories

Expected visitors to rack up extra $$ for COVID-related accessories

Each visitors planning a trip to the BVI after December 1 will have to set aside more than $400 to cover the cost of a COVID-19 test and the contact-tracing bracelet required to vacation here.

At a press conference Tuesday night, October 27, Health Minister Carvin Malone and Premier Andrew Fahie said each contact-tracing bracelet will cost roughly $150.

Premier Fahie also revealed that once each visitor is set to leave the BVI, each contact tracing bracelet will have to be returned so it is sanitised and reused by new visitors.

“It is a significant cost-saving from what we do have now. Also, there are a lot of features with it that are a great plus because it will definitely have the area that you’ve been assigned programmed into it. The app will also be able to identify if you enter a space, you’re not supposed to,” Premier Fahie explained.

Additionally, it costs $135 for each COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test but Minister Malone quickly point out that government is looking to reduce this cost to $100 per test

“We are going to substantially reduce that (the PCR tests). We have a number of donors who are intent on making sure that we are afforded the additional equipment to increase our capacity for testing and to look in terms of the particular pieces, samples, and test kits needed. We would like to bring down the test probably to $100. So if we have three tests, it will be $300. And if we break it down to two tests, it will be $200,” Minister Malone explained.

Obviously, these costs are expected to significantly increase for persons travelling with family members.

Contact tracing app requires internet access

Premier Fahie confirmed that the contact-tracing app that visitors will be required to download does require internet access to perform.

This means once persons venture out of wifi zone, the app will stop performing. However, Premier Fahie said once Wi-Fi access is regained, persons will be able to see all the data lost when they lost internet access.

In addition to this, Premier Fahie said visitors must download the app and wear the bracelet as both works in harmony to achieve successful results.

But he said developers are looking at improving this to achieve results by the sole wearing of the bracelet.

In the meantime, Premier Andrew had said in a statement on Monday that visitors will be required to get, “medical travel insurance that includes COVID-19 coverage, subscription to a contact-tracing system through their mobile phone, and in some cases, using a wearable device and bearing the costs associated with these measures”.


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