Two women who had a pre-booked flights into the territory have been denied entry at the TB Lettsome International Airport.
BVI News understands that the incident occurred last Tuesday, August 4 — more than 24 hours after government officially announced the indefinite ban on the re-entry of work permit holders and permit exemption holders.
Sources close to the reported incident told BVI News the women — one of whom travelled from St Vincent and the Grenadines — were employed to the public service.
Our news centre’s attempts to get information on the circumstances surrounding the incident have been futile up to publication time. However, Chief Immigration Officer Ian Penn confirmed the incident on Saturday.
“Yes, I know about it but I don’t wish to comment on it,” he said when questioned.
And when further pressed to give details on the matter, Penn stated: “Yes, it happened but I don’t wish to put anything [regarding the circumstances] on the official record.”
In the meantime, Immigration Minister Vincent Wheatley who was also present when Penn was being questioned said: “We have a policy right now where we are only allowing nationals to come into the country. So maybe they were non-nationals, I don’t know. Maybe they were caught in that policy, I don’t know. I didn’t hear about it.”
The government issued the ban late Sunday, August 2 and according to Premier Andrew Fahie, there were several reasons for the ban including the unwillingness of expatriates to pay the cost of being quarantined for a mandatory two-week period.