Government had previously said they would fully reopen when the majority of residents had been vaccinated. But having a few thousand doses of soon-to-be-expired vaccines and a population largely unwilling to take them, government does not plan to wait around indefinitely.
Speaking on the talk show programme ‘Zoe J Says’ on April 10, the Premier said he feels comfortable to fully reopen knowing his government did all it could to have people vaccinated.
“I, now, as a leader, would feel fully, fully, fully at peace-of-mind that, through the whole pandemic, whatever was the best to balance lives with livelihoods, this government did it. And we will open because we have done all that we can,” Fahie stated.
He said all COVID-19 safety requirements such as the wearing of masks and maintaining social distancing will still apply when June rolls around.
The Premier further said the same measures as the ones in place at the Beef Island airport will also apply for ferry passengers when the Road Town Dock reopens to international traffic on April 15.
Those measures include the requirement to get tested, quarantine for four days, and get tagged with one of the government’s COVID geo-fencing bracelets.
“You can’t stay closed forever. And remember, we are already opening up as is. But we’re doing it in a timely manner. We did it with the airport,” Fahie explained.
“Eventually we would have to; I wouldn’t say ‘relax’ but adjust the measures so that persons who have been vaccinated and can prove it from a credible source … are allowed in here,” he added.
The Premier also noted government’s consideration that persons travelling to the BVI will only be required to quarantine overnight.