“What we are looking at, and the details will follow after this weekend, is how do we open up internally first and still keep our borders closed for a certain period, until we have demonstrated that we can handle the opening up of the curfew after the 14 days,” Honourable Fahie said on ZBVI 780 AM on April 9, 2020.
As the Government of the [British] Virgin Islands (VI) intensified its response to the global pandemic, COVID-19, all airports and seaports in the Territory were closed to inbound passengers from Sunday, March 22, 2020, and subsequently to outgoing passengers as well.
The 14-day lockdown period will come to an end on April 19, 2020; however, Premier Fahie said the Virgin Islands needed to assess the situation in nearby Caribbean countries and the USA before making a decision on reopening the borders.
“We don’t want any slipping back and we also want to say that we also have to protect the borders for a little longer even when we open up, in terms of internally.”
Premier Fahie emphasised it is important that the Territory gets the “opening up” of the curfew correct.
“Because if we have any slippage at all, the next curfew will have to be longer. It wouldn’t be 14 days, it would end up to be 21 days. I am not saying that is etched in stones but those are some of the most likely repercussions if we do not get it correct in terms of our containment of COVID-19.
“We are not saying there will not be any more cases, we are not saying that persons are not still being tested, all of this will continue to happen but we want to make sure that we continue the efforts to limit and eliminate any community spreading.”
The Premier also said measures will have to be put in place to cope with VI nationals returning home.
“There are a lot of measures that we have to put in place that we have to roll out in a timely manner so that we can get the time to put them in place to handle some of what we know will be coming up.
“But the borders right now are not one of the areas that we can say will be opened right away because we cannot afford to retard our progress.”
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