According to the minutes of the Cabinet Meeting of November 5, 2021, chaired by Mr John J. Rankin, CMG and held at the Financial Services Commission’s Conference Room, the decision comes as changes have been made to the Cruise Protocol and Operation Plan.
According to the Minutes, Cabinet, “Decided that persons who interface with Cruise Passengers and crew be strongly encouraged to become fully vaccinated, and if they are not fully vaccinated, be strongly encouraged to undertake bi-monthly testing.”
The new cabinet-backed move means that persons such as taxi operators, bus drivers, persons vending and working at tourism-based shops etc are now being urged to consider vaccination as an option.
Meanwhile, fully vaccinated cruise passengers who embark on a cruise vessel with a negative PCR or Antigen test, where the VI is their first port of entry will have free movement throughout the Territory and a removal of the 24-hour and on arrival testing.
However, fully vaccinated cruise passengers for whom the BVI is not their first port of call and who have not had an antigen test within 48 hours of arrival in the BVI, will need to take a COVID-19 test to leave their bubble.
Cabinet has also removed the requirement for vaccination dates and other medical records, which are not kept by the Cruise Lines as per the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) laws in the USA, since it prohibits maintaining or storing of medical records with third parties.