Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable, Andrew A. Fahie has outlined comprehensive measures approved by the Cabinet of the Virgin Islands to protect the Territory against the deadly COVID-19 disease.
Premier Fahie during a press conference held last evening, said that Cabinet has agreed that visits to and from Her Majesty’s Prison is restricted mandatorily for a period of 30 days, with the exception of emergency situations determined by the facility to necessitate a visit, subject to advice from the Attorney General.
The Premier stated that Cabinet has endorsed that visits in and visits out are to be prohibited to all facilities that serve as residential establishments, namely, the Adina Donovan Home for the Elderly, Virgin Gorda Elderly Home, Rainbow Children’s Home, Safe Haven Transitional Centre and other private residential facilities and as may be amended by the Cabinet. The exception will be made only in emergency situations determined by the facility to necessitate a visit.
Cabinet agreed that all private and public schools, pre-schools, day care centres and extra-curricular activities are to close with effect from Thursday, March 19 for 14 days, in the first instance.
Premier said that Cabinet also agreed that all social gatherings (including weddings and funerals), faith-based, sporting, cultural, recreational and commercial activities and other non-essential events are to be restricted in numbers to a limit of 30 persons at a time and a maximum of 10 people for those in vulnerable categories with effect from Thursday, March 19 for a period of 30 days.
Cabinet further agreed that restaurants, bars, night clubs and other entertainment and hospitality services are to be advised to implement sanitisation and social distancing measures within their establishments, as advised by the Ministry of Health and Social Development.
The Territory’s Leader disclosed that Cabinet endorsed that entry into the British Virgin Islands by sea or air is to be prohibited with effect from Thursday, March 19 for all passengers, who are not nationals, Belongers, Work Permit Holders or persons ordinarily resident in the Territory, or their dependents. The travel restriction will not apply to flight crews, diplomats or freight, cargo or courier craft or vessels.
Cabinet further agreed that visitors and crew members to the BVI, who are not nationals, Belongers, Work Permit Holders or persons ordinarily resident in the Territory, or their dependents and permanent resident, who have traveled to, from or through countries specified on the Special Interest Group List and the Very High Risk Country List within a period of 14 days or less will not be allowed to enter the British Virgin Islands.
(The Special Interest Group List is reviewed daily and includes China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, France, Spain and Germany and the Very High Risk Country List includes: United States of America, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Norway.)
The community is further reminded to:
- Practice social distancing, regular hand-washing, avoid touching the face and cover the mouth when coughing.
- Minimise movement as this helps significantly in the prevention of the spread of the Coronavirus.
- Avoid visiting your doctor if you are feeling ill and telephone the medical hotline at 852-7650 to speak to a medical professional for further assistance.
- Persons in positions of influence are also asked to be responsible in their actions and utterances.