In announcing that December 1, 2020 is the date for welcoming visitors to our shores, Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie has called on the people of the Virgin Islands to do their part to make the reopening a success.
Premier Fahie said that the Territory has two full months to prepare and it is important for Government, private sector, and the public to work together to ensure a successful reopening of the borders.
Every country that re-opened to tourists and travellers alike faced their own challenges with the virus. However, we can be very optimistic because we are vigorously preparing for our re-opening to welcome back our tourists, among others.
To ensure success, the Premier said that it is critically important for residents to adhere to all health and safety guidelines to reduce or eliminate any possible spread of COVID-19 in the Territory.
He said, “By each of us, from now, holding each other accountable thereby ensuring that we wear our masks, staying six feet apart, washing our hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds minimum, sanitising, along with adhering to all other approved social measure protocol for us individually and for each business we can successfully operate in this ‘New Regular’ of the COVID-19 era.”
The Premier urged persons to respect the authorities who are enforcing the approved social measures which the Social Distancing Task Force, Environmental Health and the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force.
Additionally, Premier said, “Through our requisite officials, we have to use contact tracing methods available through technology where we will test and retest the system prior to our re-opening. That is why we need the time to ensure the measures that are going to be put in place are working effectively.”
Premier Fahie, who is also the Minister responsible for Tourism said, “All Boards, agencies, and sectors of Government, the private sector and the public will be engaged so that no one will be left out, so we can explain the measures to be rolled out and get further input because WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER.”
The Government will meet with BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association, car rental companies, hoteliers, personnel from Crafts Alive, airline operators, marine sector, taxi operators, restaurant owners, villas; NO business will be left behind. WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER.
“The fact remains that we have to be able to re-open up our economy and to re-open up our economy the safest way using science and technology to guide us,” he said, adding, “We must be a disciplined people for the re-opening of our borders to tourists and others to work effectively and reduce risks.”
Premier said that whatever measures are to be used, we must use technology and testing as the main stay in our re-opening for tourists and others. “Businesses must be able to meet the standards for the re-opening of our borders to welcome back our tourists, among others,” he said and added that the Territory needs to get moving now and thoroughly prepare because the future belongs to the prepared.
Premier was at the time speaking during the launch of the BVILOVE campaign on September 21, 2020. BVILOVE is the new branding for the Territory that will be used by all sectors of the economy.