Beautiful Virgin Islands

Sunday, Dec 04, 2022

Setbacks for yachting as COVID pandemic ‘seems’ to end– Bishop John I. Cline

Setbacks for yachting as COVID pandemic ‘seems’ to end– Bishop John I. Cline

Pastor of the New Life Baptist Church in Duff’s Bottom, Tortola, Bishop John I. Cline is optimistic that the Virgin Islands (VI) could be experiencing the end stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
End to COVID-19 pandemic?


“We are, hopefully, at the tail end of a long two years of lockdowns and curfews and border closings… and we are truly grateful for where we are today,” he said during a March 17, 2022, edition of the My BVI show.

However, while the bishop remains positive that the pandemic could be coming to an end locally, he pointed to developments in the charter boat and yachting industry as concerning.

“It seems that we are seeing the end of this pandemic, but from a yachting industry what seems to have been starting up, has given rise to other things,” he added.

In mid-March 2022, Her Majesty's Customs led an aggressive campaign to crack down on yachting companies operating in the VI in violation of local laws, including for operating without a license and not meeting minimum safety requirements.

Other violations include companies allegedly working without permits and making false declarations to local Customs officers.

Chairperson of the BVI Maine Association Mr Andrew Ball said while it is not unreasonable for enforcement agencies to enforce laws, authorities must also examine the current situation.


Enforcement of laws too sudden?


Meanwhile, Andrew Ball, Chairperson of the BVI Maine Association appearing as a guest on the show, said while it is not unreasonable for enforcement agencies to enforce laws, authorities must also examine the current situation.

He also pointed out that archaic legislation continues to hold up the industry as the laws written for the budding yacht industry at start-up cannot govern a much-developed industry in today’s world.

Pointing to the Challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Ball indicated that while COVID-19 regulations are being lifted, there is need for a public-private partnership on the way forward.

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