British Virgin Islands

Wednesday, Jul 08, 2020

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No Exceptions For Locals, My Children Are Still Out There

Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie earlier this evening, March 24, doubled down on Government’s decision to shut the door for all passengers, including Virgin Islanders in response to the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
Appearing a press conference alongside Opposition Leader, Hon. Marlon Penn, the Premier said he understands that every single Virgin Islander who wants to come home, but the decision has hit home for him as well.

According to the Premier, his wife wanted the children home from college this week coming.

“She mentioned that to me Saturday and I had to look my wife in the face and tell her no because I didn’t tell the public as yet, but we shutting the borders on Sunday. So if I have to live with the decision where I shut a border where my children still out there, in the heart of areas where it is, hoping that they are safe,” Premier Fahie said in response to media questions.

He added, “There is nobody who can explain to me the heartache of them being out there, but at the same time traveling, getting on a plane, being around all these persons increases your probability of being contaminated by the virus.”

Premier Fahie explained further that the virus does not respect nationality and doesn’t say if you are a BVIslander you are free, so go home.

“We have to understand that we are trying to save lives locally and abroad and we have allowed for certain things to happen, but the cut off time is now, fully, fully,” Premier Fahie stated

He made the point that there may be BVIslanders living aboard for many years who might be thinking of returning home.

“We have a lot of BVIslanders living abroad for years if they want to come home all of a sudden, we are going to be totally over-flooded. Yes, they have a right to be here, but this is a unique situation with a unique virus so we are trying to help all of them and help us by saying where ever you are adhere to the measures and you will be okay,” Premier Fahie stated.

Hon. Fahie warmed that Government cannot continue to make exceptions when actions have been taken in the best interest of the people of the Virgin Islands.

“I am sympathetic to every Virgin Islander abroad even to those that are there listening …but we cannot continue to take these chances because if one case gets in here whether by a Belonger or…at a time when the borders are already closed and they get in…the first person you are going to point to is the government no matter how much you want them home,” the Premier stated.

He added, “What I am saying to persons is let’s exercise common sense. We want our people to be safe where ever they are. It’s not an easy decision but this virus is not one that respects nationality.”

Currently the BVI has no confirmed case of the virus; however, the Premier warned that by allowing persons to return home they are expanding numbers on the island and placing many more in danger.

He said that with larger numbers on the island tough decisions will have to be made, including who gets to live on the ventilator and who is going to die should the virus be spread aggressively on the island.

“Do you (reporter) want to be faced with that as a leader? Because you keep flexing with the rules to decide well you and your sister ended up there but because we left the borders open more people were there before you and you could only accommodate one more person and because you overcrowd the place you have to decide your sister or you will be the one on the ventilator to live because of our actions,” the Premier stated.
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