BVI Gateway is the online portal which all residents and non-residents must use to register before travelling to the BVI amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
It was launched a week before the territory officially opened its borders to international travel. But since its launch, our news centre has received complaints from local and international travellers who say the site isn’t functioning well.
Travellers are reporting many glitches with the online platform, including their inability to upload relevant documents such as the mandatory negative COVID-19 test results.
Travellers are not allowed to enter the territory until they upload their negative results then granted permission to land. A number of travellers have therefore been stuck in-transit to the BVI while waiting for a response from government.
One traveller who left a comment on Facebook wrote: “Dear Premier, I am stranded in Miami … I’ve done what was required of me to get permission to come home. However, I am yet to receive a response. Oh, yea, I want you to know that the portal is not working … Please send a plane to get me … Thanks.”
Another said: “I need to get in to put my MOTHER to rest.”
Government has established an email address and a WhatsApp contact number for travellers to use if they experience problems. But, a few travellers who contacted our news centre complained about the lack of response despite sending numerous emails and WhatsApp messages.
“I’m travelling to the BVI and I filled in the online portal [form] successfully and they sent me a confirmation. However, when I tried to upload my negative corona test yesterday, there was nowhere to upload the results. I’ve been trying to call the number associated with the portal. No one is answering. It’s a WhatsApp number. I can see the blue tick, which means they’re reading it but not responding,” one frustrated traveller told BVI News.
Another traveller said they did get a response from the WhatsApp number, but that response came days after her initial complaint.
Another traveller on Facebook said: “Dear Premier, even after multiple mails and requests, the issues faced in the portal have not been addressed. I request you to please issue the traveller certificate in time at least. This is a highly stressful time for travellers coming to BVI.”
One returning resident reported having similar issues but told our news centre their travel issues were only resolved because of their personal acquaintance with an elected official.