Cabinet defers tourist bubble plan as new cruise season looms
The government has decided to defer approval for its draft operational plan to implement cruise ship bubble areas within which cruise passengers would be confined when they visit the territory in the next few weeks.
A task force from the BVI Tourist Board was responsible for coming up with the plan whose purpose was to set guidelines on how vaccinated cruise passengers can disembark the cruise ship and participate in shore excursions in a safe and organised manner.
But in a Cabinet post-meeting statement released yesterday, September 30, the executive body said it, decided to defer approving the document so it (the plan) can be further defined for “enhanced standards for cruise tourism certified businesses; and additional options for a more defined bubble”.
No details were given as to what qualifies any business as ‘cruise tourism certified’.
It remains unclear if the new plan will be ready for implementation in time for the arrival of the first set of cruise tourists of the season.
The first scheduled cruise ship — the Seabourn Odyssey — is expected to arrive in the territory on October 13.
Just recently, the Premier announced that vaccinated visitors will no longer be required to use the troublesome online BVI Gateway portal to gain entry to the territory.