Come mid-May, day-trippers travelling from the BVI to select neighbouring jurisdictions will no longer be required to quarantine when they return from their travels.
This is part of recent decisions Cabinet approved. But Health Minister Carin Malone said these relaxed policies are conditional and only apply to fully vaccinated persons.
“Effective 15th May 2021, fully vaccinated persons who have been present in the Virgin Islands
for a period of more than 14 consecutive days and travel to the USVI, St Martin, or Puerto Rico for a period not longer than 24 hours are exempted from quarantine and the COVID
-19 test upon re-entering the territory. However, day-trippers to these neighbouring jurisdictions would be required to take a PCR test seven days after returning to the territory,” Malone stated.
Malone further said that effective May 15, fully vaccinated persons travelling from overseas would require a PCR test within five days of travel, provide satisfactory evidence of being fully vaccinated, and will be subject to a PCR test immediately upon arrival.
Fully vaccinated persons will be quarantined until a negative test result is received from the BVI Health Services Authority.
“In other words, if the test administered on arrival returns a negative result, the fully vaccinated traveler will be immediately released from quarantine, unless they have been in close contact with a positive case,” Malone explained.
And as the BVI prepares to welcome an increasing number of travellers in the coming weeks and month, Cabinet has also decided gatherings among vulnerable persons are not to exceed five persons.
Malone said all other gatherings are limited to one person per 64 square feet and shall not exceed 200 persons, except for faith-based services, graduations, weddings, or funerals, which shall not exceed 250 persons. This took effect Friday, April 23.
“In relaxing the travel requirements for persons who have been fully vaccinated, and permitting larger gatherings, there will be an increased risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID
-19 among the resident population. Prevention measures such as mask-wearing, hand washing, and physical distancing will remain in effect, and vaccines
continue to be widely distributed while they remain in stock,” Malone said.
“I emphasise that vaccination is the best defence against the risk of severe COVID
-19 symptoms and death. As a caring and responsible government, we have taken extensive measures and made significant investments to safeguard the health and well-being of the people of the Virgin Islands
against the threat of this deadly virus,” he added.