Premier and Minister for Finance Hon. Andrew Fahie said during a live broadcast on June 15 that the decision was made during a meeting on June 9.
He said it has been decided that “Soper’s Hole Dock, West End; Dog Hole Dock, Jost Van Dyke, and St Thomas Bay Dock, Virgin Gorda” be reopened to “receive fully vaccinated international travellers and crew members only, starting June 17, 2021.”
He added, “These ports of entry will be known as fully vaccinated ports of entry for only fully vaccinated travellers and crew.”
Premier Fahie informed that Cabinet also decided that “all requisite Government and Statutory Bodies work together to establish Anegada Seaport as an official Port of Entry, to receive fully vaccinated travellers and crew members only for this initiative.”
He stated that updates will be released as the initiative moves forward.
He stated that while vaccinated travellers will be allowed through any of the ports, non-vaccinated travellers will only be allowed through the Road Town seaport and the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport.
“Let me also inform you here that domestic travellers will remain unaffected in their ability to use all ports,” he informed.
Premier Fahie said these new decisions were made to complement the revised measures that were made public by the Minister of Health Honourable Carvin Malone just last week.
“At that time, the Minister informed that on June 9, 2021, Cabinet decided that effective June 15, 2021, fully vaccinated persons travelling from overseas would require an RT-PCR test or approved rapid antigen test within five days of arrival and provide satisfactory evidence of being fully vaccinated. However, fully vaccinated travellers would no longer be subject to PCR testing upon arrival (day zero) or quarantine measures unless so ordered by a Quarantine Officer as a result of entry screening. Simply put, no quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers upon arrival.”
He added, “Also, effective June 15, 2021, partially vaccinated persons travelling from overseas would require a PCR test within five days of travel, provide satisfactory evidence of being partially vaccinated, and will be subject to a PCR test or rapid antigen test upon arrival (day zero) and quarantine for a period of four (4) days, and the Gateway Portal fee will be reduced to thirty-five dollar ($35) for fully vaccinated travellers. The reduced testing and lower BVI Gateway Portal fee will make it more affordable and less of a hassle for fully vaccinated travellers.”
In addition, flight and vessel crews who are fully vaccinated would no longer require bi-weekly screening testing, but should self-monitor and report any symptoms of, or recent exposure to COVID-19 and finally a fixed penalty of $10,000 on summary conviction would be introduced for producing false documentation such as vaccination records or COVID-19 test certificates.
“These new measures will further allow for the expansion of our tourism reopening, and by extension, our economy. These new measures will make it easier for fully vaccinated visitors to enter the BVI and explore and enjoy all our islands while supporting our local businesses,” he said.
Premier Fahie stated that these new measures put the BVI in a very competitive position among the tourist destinations in the region, along with our reputation of being a relatively COVID-19 safe destination.