TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands, Monday March 16, 2020 – The British Virgin Islands (BVI) Government has closed its Tortola cruise port, allowing no cruise ships to call on the territory for a 30-day period, in an effort to keep the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) out of the British overseas territory.
The number of international ports of entry into the BVI have also been limited to facilitate the effective screening of passengers. The three ports that remain open are Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport, Road Town and West End Ferry Terminals, and one cargo port of entry – Port Purcell.
The entry of passengers and crew members who have traveled to, from or through COVID-19 affected countries as specified in a list of countries of special interest within a period of 14 days or less, will not be allowed.
The entry of passengers and crew members who have traveled to, from or through COVID-19 affected countries classified as a high-risk country within a period of 14 days or less immediately preceding their arrival in the territory, will also be subject to advanced screening procedures and may be quarantined for a period of up to 14 days based on the outcome of the risk assessment.
Additionally, mass gatherings or festivals that were scheduled to take place in the BVI during the next month have been postponed until further notice. That includes the 2020 BVI Spring Regatta, scheduled for March 30-April 5, and the Virgin Gorda Easter Festival scheduled for April 11-13.
“After extensive consideration, the British Virgin Islands made the prudent decision to put stringent measures in place to temporarily enhance the protocols for entry into the Territory until April 13,” said Premier Andrew Fahie, who is also Minister of Finance and Minister responsible for Tourism.
“It is imperative that we prioritize our limited resources to safeguard our residents and our guests. Tourism is our mainstay and it is important that we take measures to ensure our long-term sustainability.”
The public has been reminded to take all necessary precautions against contracting COVID-19.
At present, there are no confirmed cases in the BVI. Elsewhere in the Caribbean, cases have been recorded in Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curaçao, the Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinique, Saint Barthelemy, St Lucia, Saint Martin, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela.