Residents and Belongers experiencing difficulties in attaining pre-arrival COVID-19 PCR test results can now apply to have a special waiver that will allow entry into the territory without a test.
This is according to Health Minister Carvin Malone who made the announcement during Thursday night’s COVID-19 media update.
He said: “Recognising that a number of persons continue to be challenged with obtaining COVID-19 rt-PCR results for entry within the stipulated time due to the high demand in various countries, Cabinet decided to allow for the processing of waivers of the pre-arrival test in exceptional and verifiable circumstances to Belongers and residents only.”
“Such request will be considered and approved by the Minister for Health & Social Development in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer,” he added.
Minister Malone also said these individuals who are granted the special waiver will be mandated to quarantine much longer than the recently adjusted four-day period.
“Under these exceptional circumstances, such persons will be required to remain in quarantine for an extended period of seven to 14 days with an additional rt-PCR test administered at the end of the on-island quarantine. A negative test result must be attained before release,” Malone stated.
“The purpose of the visit is for BVI health officials and PHE to jointly assess the territory’s tracing system, laboratory testing capability and emergency preparedness with regard to COVID-19,” he further said.
Meanwhile, Malone also revealed that experts from Public Health England (PHE) are in the territory for one week to provide technical assistance in a number of areas.
These include, “vector control, food and water safety, communicable disease surveillance, and laboratory accreditation”. He said these will be in addition to any specific assistance required with pandemic management.
The team consists of PHE Consultant for communicable disease control, Dr Autillia Newton, and Public Health Consultant, Helen Green.