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Further travel restrictions may be needed to keep new COVID strains out

Further travel restrictions may be needed to keep new COVID strains out

As countries in the region and further afield battle with the coronavirus pandemic, including new strains of the virus, the Virgin Islands intends to remain proactive in keeping the territory safe.

Some of the current measures that have proven to be effective so far are imposition of curfews, social distancing, sanitising, wearing of masks, limiting of gatherings, limiting the ports of entry, mandated tests and quarantine for persons entering the territory and travel bans from certain countries such as the United Kingdom and the Dominican Republic.

According to the latest Covid-19 update on February 13, 2021, the territory has only 4 active cases of the virus and all of the cases and their close contacts are in quarantine.

Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Carvin Malone (AL); however, says further travel restrictions may be necessary to continue to keep the territory safe.

"We have to meet as Cabinet to see if there is any other country we have to be mindful of in terms of whether or not persons coming in will have to go with the fourteen days or if we have to ban persons who are not from here, who doesn't have work permits from here, from coming into the territory," Hon Malone said during a press conference last week Thursday, February 11, 2021.

There are travel bans from certain countries such as the United Kingdom and the Dominican Republic due to the emergence of new strains of COVID-19.

According to the latest Covid-19 update on February 13, 2021, the territory has only 4 active cases of the virus and all of the cases and their close contacts are in quarantine.


‘We cannot get weary in well-doing’


The question of the 3-hour curfew which remains in place, from 2:00am to 5:00am, even though there are reportedly no recorded cases of community spread of the virus, was also brought up at the press conference.

"We cannot get weary in well-doing," said the Health Minister while appealing, "Just a little bit longer, just close your doors, just go inside and close your doors until this passes over."

Hon Malone noted that leaders of other Caribbean countries have scoffed at the night curfews but are now having to implement even harsher curfews than what is in place in the VI.

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