"The cases are spiking all around us and when you consider that the majority of our visitors come from the United States... we are the envy of the Caribbean right now, people are asking the question what have we done to be in this position," he said during an interview on 284 Media on August 12, 2020.
According to the medical doctor, with regards to the full opening of the Territory, he said it is easy for persons to call for the re-opening of borders; however, outsiders may not be preview to the full data that is informing Government's decision to keep the borders restricted.
Regional governments and the United Nations (UN) have commended the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government for its handling of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, on Friday, August 14, 2020, Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) announced that Phase 2 of the restricted border re-opening plan will commence.
In this new phase, Work Permit and Work Permit Exemption Holders will be allowed entry into the Territory from September 1, 2020, once they meet a list of requirements.
Government; however, is yet to announce the date for full border re-opening to allow visitors, such as tourists, entry into the Territory.
According to Dr Pickering, ahead of that decision, "We have to wait and be patient to be able to make the decision to open our borders and of course, it has to be regulated and it has to be controlled," Dr Pickering said.
He said with both the US and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issuing travel restrictions to several regional neighbours, the VI has so far done a great job at controlling the pandemic.
The Virgin Islands has had just 9 confirmed cases of COVID-19, inclusive of 1 death, with no active cases of the virus as of August 16, 2020.
Former Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Dr Kedrick D. Pickering says with COVID-19 cases spiking around the world and in the region, the Virgin Islands (VI) remains in a very good position regarding its control of the pandemic.