Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Carvin Malone has announced Cabinet’s decision to require certified RT-PCR Testing at various intervals and sites for all arriving travelers to the Territory.
Health Minister Malone stated that this is part of the Phase Three Testing Protocols which will manage the risk of COVID-19 transmission while reducing quarantine requirements during the incubation period for the disease.
The minister said that Cabinet decided that all travelers will be required to download the approved app and must be issued a Travel Certificate prior to arrival in the Territory. He also explained that the Phase Three Testing Protocols will be applied to all travelers inclusive of Tourists, Residents, Belongers and Work Permit holders.
All incoming travelers will have to provide a certified RT-PCR COVID-19 negative test within five days prior to arrival from low-risk countries and within three days from medium and high-risk countries.
Incoming travelers will also be required to test on arrival, which if negative allows for controlled movement within the confines of an approved property and test after four (4) complete days of quarantine, which if negative would allow for movement within the Territory.
Persons who tests positive for COVID-19 before arrival will not be allowed to enter the Territory. However should a person test positive during any stage after arrival, they will be required to quarantine for 14 days.
When speaking on quarantine protocols for vessel arrivals, Honourable Malone said that persons will be required to provide a certified RT-PCR Test results and quarantine accommodations aboard vessels.
Persons aboard vessels will also be required to quarantine for four (4) days and can do so on approved vessels which will be able to move within the Territorial waters during the quarantine period. However, those approved vessels may only moor at sites approved by the Minister for Health and Social Development in consultation with the Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration.
Honourable Malone stated that Mega Yachts will be approved entry in accordance with established marine protocols, except otherwise as approved by the Minister for Health and Social Development.
He added that Cabinet also recognised specific groups that would need to be exempted from quarantine requirements and agreed on a COVID-19 Quarantine Exemption Protocol. This protocol will outline risk mitigation measures for groups that include aviation, maritime and medical personnel, diplomats and other essential personnel including the judiciary, persons employed in service of the Commonwealth and inter-regional Caribbean Organisations and exceptional essential persons as approved by the Minister for Health and Social Development and the Governor.
“When entering the Virgin Islands, while these groups are exempt from mandatory quarantine, they must register on the BVI Gateway Travel Application, practice self-isolation, and adhere to the various testing requirements outlined in the Quarantine Exemption Protocols,” Honourable Malone said.
As of November 7, the total number of persons tested at the Dr. D Orlando Smith Hospital stands at 6,431, the total number of recoveries is 71, the total number of COVID-19 cases recorded is 72 and one (1) death. For more information on the re-entry protocols, persons can visit www.bvi.gov.vg