Following announcements that the government will move to end its COVID-19 self-quarantine initiative, Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Carvin Malone (AL) said returning work permit holders will now be footing the bill for mandatory quarantine.
Hon Malone was at the time responding to questions from Opposition Leader, Honourable Marlon A. Penn (R8) at yesterday's June 19, 2020, Tenth Sitting of the Second session of the Fourth House of Assembly in Duff's Bottom, Tortola.
He said work permit holders would have to "underwrite the cost of the quarantine services", now to be only carried out at a government facility, however, he did not say the reason for the decision or the estimated costs for the service.
20 persons to be released this week
Hon Malone also revealed that a total of twenty (20) returning nationals and residents will rejoin the Virgin Islands community this week after completing 14 days in quarantine and testing negative for the virus.
"Three (3) returnees were tested on Wednesday and an additional seventeen (17) on Thursday; all of whom are being issued Quarantine Release Certificates today, Friday 19th June."
He said the 20 is from the first batch of 200 passengers who have arrived from overseas since the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport was reopened to inbound commercial flights on June 2, 2020.
"An additional seventy-one (71) persons are expected to arrive by the end of June and will complete the 14-day quarantine and testing for COVID-19, as part of the Government’s efforts to limit the spread of the disease," he said.
557 registration requests submitted
Hon Malone said over five hundred and fifty-seven (557) registration requests have been submitted to date for nationals, belongers, holders of permanent residence and naturalised citizens returning home to the Territory.
VI nationals and holders of certificates of residence who wish to return to the VI during the re-entry period are encouraged to register early by visiting www.bvitravel.vg.