British Virgin Islands

Wednesday, Nov 25, 2020

Limited tourism could resume in September — Immigration Minister

With COVID-19 bringing tourism in the British Virgin Islands to a halt since March, the arrival of visitors into the territory could resume in a little more than a month.

This is according to Minister of Immigration Vincent Wheatley who told BVI News in a brief statement that this is part of government’s next phase of its border-reopening initiative.

He said: “Limited tourism could start as early as September.”

Wheatley said the controlled and phased re-entry of individuals into the BVI will first be shifting to the next category of persons — work permit holders.

The minister said that these persons will have to follow strict COVID-19 protocols when entering the territory, which will include mandatory quarantining for a period of 14 days.

He said: “The procedure for inbound persons is pretty much the same. However, Labour & Immigration are now heavily involved. Basically, they (the departments) just have to verify that persons are returning to legitimate jobs.”

He did not specify a date when work permit holders abroad will be permitted to re-enter.

Outbound travelling still allowed

Meanwhile, Minister Wheatley said persons wishing to depart from the BVI will be able to do so, as travelling out of the territory continues to be allowed.

In a July 16 media announcement, Wheatley said the government was going to assist unemployed expats who lost their jobs because of COVID-19 to return to their home countries.

Since that announcement, the minister said the Immigration Department has been receiving a high volume of requests from expats interested in accepting the offer.

Some of the requests have been made for countries such as Barbados, St Vincent, Grenada, Jamaica and Guyana.

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