British Virgin Islands

Friday, Apr 16, 2021

Visitors will have to test twice and quarantine for ‘short period’

Visitors will have to test twice and quarantine for ‘short period’

When the territory reopens for tourism starting December 1, visitors will only be required to quarantine for a ‘short period’.

In an interview on ZBVI radio this week, Premier Andrew Fahie said visitors will, however, have to undergo at least two COVID-19 tests.

“You would have had to produce a test before [travelling to the BVI] and that would be fed into IOTA, which is the system that you book. So you need to produce for the system and it will be verified by whichever health institution you took it, to ensure that it’s authentic,” the Premier explained.

He continued: “Then, and only then, will it allow you to book a ticket to come to the BVI. So that’s a starting point. But there is more to it and that will be revealed to the public within the next couple days to a week’s time.”

A second test after arrival

Providing that pre-travel tests are confirmed negative and visitors land in the BVI, Premier Fahie said visitors will be re-tested by local health officials before undergoing “a short quarantine period”.

Fahie, who is also Tourism Minister, did not specify the length of that quarantine period during his radio interview. But he reportedly told businesses during Tuesday’s tourism stakeholders meeting that the period will be four days; subject to Cabinet approval.

The purpose of quarantining is to wait out COVID-19’s incubation period, which is the time between ‘exposure to the virus’ and ‘symptom onset’. According to the World Health Organization, the incubation period of COVID-19 is, “on average, five to six days but can be as long as 14 days”.

Cabinet to approve protocols in a few days

Meanwhile, Premier Fahie said government’s proposed tourism protocols will be brought for Cabinet-approval on Friday or next Monday.

“I do not want to go into details of those until we fine-tune all of them with [Public] Health and pass it,” he stated.

The Premier, in the meantime, said government will be using technology to assist persons who want to visit the BVI come December.

He said this technology will be in the form of a mobile application; more commonly known as an app.

“Once you download that app, there is a lot of areas that we will be coming to launch,” Fahie stated.


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