The Government of the Virgin Islands has moved to incentivize certain travel costs and the mandatory four-day quarantine for partially vaccinated adults accompanying their children to be inoculated in St. John, USVI, through the BVI-USVI Bubble initiative.
Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon. Carvin Malone made the pronouncement during a live broadcast on Friday, August 6.
He stated that while the government continues to push that the AstraZeneca vaccine
that is available at no cost in the British Virgin Islands “is safe and effective, and is among the best vaccines available on the market today,” they are playing their part in facilitating vaccination among the younger generations who cannot take the AstraZeneca
for health reasons.
“It is for that reason that we have forged an alliance with the US Virgin Islands to introduce the BVI-USVI Vaccination Bubble Initiative, to give persons the ability to protect themselves and their family from COVID-19.”
He continued: “To this end, Cabinet has made several amendments to the Public Health (COVID-19 Control and Suppression Measures) Order to facilitate the process and incentivize persons who wish to participate.”
The Health Minister said Cabinet decided that persons going to and from the USVI, specifically to receive vaccinations or to accompany minors for that purpose, under the agreed protocols with the USVI authorities, would be exempt from the applicable quarantine requirement for the partially vaccinated persons.
He said, persons going to and from the USVI, specifically to receive vaccinations or to accompany minors for that purpose, under the agreed protocols with the USVI authorities, would also be exempt from the obligation of registering on the entry portal and from paying the associated fees.
These persons, in addition, would not be required to pay the relevant fees on exiting the Territory.
He reminded residents that young adults ages 12 to 7-year-olds will be given priority; individuals under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian accompany them.
In the event that a parent or legal guardian is not travelling with the child, a notarized letter by the parent allowing the person to accompany the child must be presented.
Travellers must walk with an official birth certificate to be presented at the time of vaccination to the USVI Department of Health for each young adult, and they must likewise have a valid passport that meets the requirement for entry into the USVI.
Persons wishing to travel for the vaccine
are obligated to fund all associated costs out of pocket.
“Those of you who are able to meet these requirements can move on to the other stage of the registration process. Persons can complete the Vaccination Bubble Registration Form and submit it along with the listed documents via email to the email@example.com. Persons can also register by calling 852- 7525 Monday-Friday between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. During that call, you will be asked a series of questions, and the information will be validated for eligibility purposes,” the minister further informed.
He added: “Please ensure that information provided is truthful and accurate. We want to know your contact information, immigration status, vaccination preference, vaccination history if any, your reason for participating, your medical history and if you have previously tested positive for COVID-19, among other information.”
Notably, participants will have to sign their application and a declaration exempting the Government of the Virgin Islands
from any and all liabilities associated with the vaccination.