British Virgin Islands

Monday, Jun 14, 2021

USVI and BVI officials meet today to discuss ferry passenger limits

USVI and BVI officials meet today to discuss ferry passenger limits

Local government officials are expected to extend diplomatic overtures to the neighbouring US Virgin Islands (USVI) in efforts to increase the current daily ferry passenger travel limit between the two territories by an additional 50 persons.

The current limit is 50 passengers per trip.

Premier Andrew Fahie disclosed that a meeting will take place today, Friday (May 21) with Governor, Albert Bryan, Jr and several BVI officials.

“We have a meeting coming up with the Minister of Health and the Minister of Transport and a few of us and technical persons with the Governor in the USVI to see if they can allow us to bring more than 50 persons because that is not something we alone have implemented,” Premier Fahie said during a press conference yesterday.

Premier Fahie, who is also the BVI’s Minister of Tourism, said the passenger limit is something that the USVI has implemented to monitor how many persons will be leaving their shores.

He said other areas that can help strengthen the BVI’s tourism sector are expected to be discussed in addition to concerns that the USVI might have.

Fiasco a false flag

In the meantime, the expected meeting comes on the heels of a recent fiasco at the Road Town Ferry Dock where more than 100 persons entered the territory last weekend despite the 50 passenger limit.

The influx of persons created a bottleneck in the processing of arriving passengers leaving some waiting for several hours.

Premier Fahie said he accepts the blame for the issue and apologised. He said although it posed quite a challenge, there was a need to increase the number of tourists coming to the territory.

“We also want to increase the number of tourists coming but we have to make sure that we remain prepared,” Fahie said.

“We have started to improve overall with how we are handling matters,” he added while explaining that systems were enhanced markedly the day after the incident happened.

Fake COVID-19 results used to travel

Turning his attention to the issue of false documents being presented as COVID-19 test results, Premier Fahie said this caused a considerable strain on medical teams in the territory and could cause “burnouts and certain things to come through the cracks”.

According to the Premier: “We have to continue to make sure that we assess and re-assess our protocols.”

He said measures are being put in place to be able to see that the PCR test result cards are authentic. One such measure is a software program being worked on to resolve the issue.

In a note of optimism, however, the Premier pointed to the success being achieved by the current protocols. He said Day-0 tests have yielded dividends and the majority of active positive cases were detected on they first day travellers arrive in the territory. This, Fahie said, shows the protocols are working.

“We don’t’ have to shut down with new cases,” he noted.

A note from the BVI Port Authority


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