His warning came following his announcement on Thursday, 15 July 2021, that there were changes for persons travelling from the VI because of the high active cases of COVID-19. There are now 1559 active COVID-19 cases in the VI.
“Effective Monday, anyone entering the USVI from the BVI will have to submit a negative test within 48 hours of departure. We are still accepting the positive antibody test as we are doing with all our regular portal travel for other places, but we are going to be taking extra caution, and please don’t try to game the system. We have already made one arrest, and we will make others for people trying to forge their way into the USVI,” he remarked.
Previously, persons travelling to the USVI from the VI were required to submit a negative PCR test taken within 5 days of travel.
Commenting on the ferry capacity, Governor Bryan said they thought seriously about reducing it, but “we thought better of it because all the people who are coming should have had a test within 48 hours of their departure.”
Our newsroom clarified with Government House in the USVI whether the PCR tests uploaded to the USVI travel portal have to be for a test taken within 48 hours and they have confirmed this to be so.
“A lot of people have called me and try to say now is the time to get even with the BVI for what they do to our sailors, our fishermen but now is not the time for that, now is the time to be responsible as global citizens to our community friends and family over in the BVI,” Governor Bryan stated.
“So I am asking the people who are coming over whether it is on water taxis or whatever, captains, we will arrest you if you don’t have a negative COVID-19 test, please do not enter our waters. We are not playing. We are one people, but we have to protect the Virgin Islands and the people who are coming and going from the USVI to our British brothers and sisters.”
“Let us all take some time today, whatever religion you are, to pray for our brothers and sisters in the BVI. It is not an easy thing to deal with. Let us pray for their leadership, that they would have the wisdom, the discernment, to guide their people through this most difficult time,” he said in parting words.
He reminded persons that anyone making it to the USVI are eligible for vaccines at no cost to them but warned travellers “who are going over to the BVI our suggestion to you is stay safe if you are vaccinated, that is one thing… but we are not encouraging people to go over to that situation.”
The USVI has just over 120 active COVID-19 cases.