It’s been a bit since we reported on some updates from our sister islands.
The BVI re-opened the Beef Island Airport to visitors on December 1 with some serious COVID testing and quarantine protocols. This is the first time the territory would open its doors to tourism since March.
Originally, the plan was to open the airport on the first with limited access to seaports to follow on December 8. Due to an unexpected number of arrivals, the seaports’ re-opening date is pushed back until at least January 21.
The Premier said, “Given the number of persons that have been coming into the T.B. Lettsome (Beef Island) Airport, which far exceeds our projection in this era, we see an opportunity to further strengthen our seaports to successfully balance lives and livelihood. We want the team there to be fully equipped as we COVID-19 proof the Territory.”
The territory’s entry protocol requires that ALL persons entering the BVI through the Beef Island Airport provide a negative test upon arrival, take an additional test upon arrival at the terminal and take a third test after four days of mandatory quarantine. As of December 17, nine visitors and two residents have tested positive on that fourth day of quarantine, taking the territory’s total number of current active cases to 11.
The total number of positive cases in the territory since March is 86.
There has apparently been some breaking of the rules as well. It was reported that some visitors broke quarantine and were “bar hopping.” The Premier is not messing around with these protocols tho. He announced the following fine increases on Saturday, December 19:
- Persons who deliberately tamper and damage the geo-fencing device face a fine of $2000.00 up from $125.00.
- Persons who engage in unauthorised visits with a person in quarantine face a fine of $5000.00 up from $500.00.
- Any person who contravenes the protocols or guidelines as set out in the Regulations face a fine of $10,000.00 up from $1000.00.
As it relates to the COVID-19 Control and Suppression (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2020 (No.5 of 2020) Cabinet has decided to increase the fine for failure to comply with a quarantine order to $10,000.00.
I did mention in my last BVI update that the government had approved the use of approved vessels as proper “quarantine.” We didn’t have much info on that at the time, but they have since released the long anticipated approved mooring locations. There’s a pretty good amount of options and I’m pretty sure the views beat most of our current locations…quarantine or not!
A few stipulations to that…the boat must be provisioned prior to the guests’ arrival and must remain on the dock until the “Day Zero” test results come back as negative. For the next four days, guests can quarantine on the boat and move about the approved mooring and anchor sites. They may also swim within 30 feet of the boat. Although, it might be a bit of a headache, it definitely doesn’t sound like a bad way to spend four days.
It’s again my estimation that day trips may be a bit further down the timeline. Especially with all of the 11 current active cases having occurred on Day 4. In the meantime, it does sound like boats and hotels and bars and restaurants are all back to work in the BVI and that is GREAT news! Additionally, I imagine that a term charter lasting a week or longer might be a solid option if the Road Town Ferry Terminal does, in fact, re-open as planned on January 21!
I’ll leave you with this message from a reader that made me giggle.
“Not sure how to post on your page. This morning I was checking out the Soggy Dollar webcam and saw the first bikini since last winter and it made my day! Just wanted to share my happiness.”
I hope that makes you smile too. And if it doesn’t, check out the webcam link, turn up the heat and make yourself a Painkiller. And that surely will 🙂