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GPS tracking & multiple COVID-19 tests for VI tourists

- when tourist arrival commences December 1, 2020
Persons wishing to visit the Virgin Islands from December 1, 2020, would have to agree to the terms and conditions before boarding their flight and will have to obtain a negative PCR test at least 5 days ahead of travelling. Photo: VINO/File
Tourists who arrive in the Virgin Islands (VI) from December 1, 2020, will be subject to strict requirements including GPS tracking and multiple instances of COVID-19 testing before they are allowed unrestricted access to the territory, Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) announced in a COVID-19 update. Photo: Facebook
Tourists who arrive in the Virgin Islands (VI) from December 1, 2020, will be subject to strict requirements including GPS tracking and multiple instances of COVID-19 testing before they are allowed unrestricted access to the territory, Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) announced in a COVID-19 update. Photo: Facebook
According to Premier Fahie, in the first four days, travellers would be required to remain within the compound of their accommodation and to avoid or minimise contact with others outside of their party, as well as to keep their movement to a minimum. Photo: Internet Source
According to Premier Fahie, in the first four days, travellers would be required to remain within the compound of their accommodation and to avoid or minimise contact with others outside of their party, as well as to keep their movement to a minimum. Photo: Internet Source
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Tourists who arrive in the Virgin Islands (VI) from December 1, 2020, will be required to meet strict requirements, including GPS tracking and multiple instances of COVID-19 testing, before they are allowed unrestricted access to the territory.

The measures were announced tonight, Monday, October 26, 2020, by Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) in a statement broadcasted across radio, television and social media.

COVID-19 PCR test before arrival to territory

The Premier said that to come to the territory, persons would have to agree to the terms and conditions before boarding their flight and will have to obtain a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test at least 5 days ahead of travelling.

“These terms and conditions include periods of quarantine at approved accommodation, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing, medical travel insurance that includes COVID-19 coverage, subscription to a contact tracing system through their mobile phone, and in some cases using a wearable device, and bearing the costs associated with these measures,” Premier Fahie said.

He said approval for the travel will first have to be done via an online portal called BVI Gateway as entry into the VI will be exclusive to air travel via the Terrence B Lettsome International Airport from December 1, 2020.

GPS software & second COVID-19 test on arrival  

“On arrival at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport, the traveller will do a PCR test and we will ensure that the visitors have installed the contact tracing software on their mobile phones.”

Following that step, the Premier said tourists would then be directed to approved transportation which will take them to their approved accommodation for isolation.

According to Premier Fahie, in the first four days, travellers would be required to remain within the compound of their accommodation and to avoid or minimise contact with others outside of their party, as well as to keep their movement to a minimum.

Third COVID-19 test after brief quarantine  

Following that initial quarantine, on the fourth day, the traveller would be required to take another PCR test and once the result is negative, they would be allowed isolated movement to designated places. These would be locations that are not high traffic or high risk.”

He said the locations are being coordinated by the Environmental Health Department and other Government agencies and the establishments will be notified.

Fourth COVID-19 test for free movement 

A final PCR test would be administered on Day 8 and once this test also returns negative, the traveller would be able to move within the Territory without limitation, the leader of Government Business detailed.

77 Responses to “GPS tracking & multiple COVID-19 tests for VI tourists”

  • Disaster (26/10/2020, 21:57) Like (75) Dislike (0) Reply
    What a disaster
  • Ghost (26/10/2020, 22:23) Like (70) Dislike (0) Reply
    These terms and conditions include periods of quarantine at approved accommodation, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing, medical travel insurance that includes COVID-19 coverage, subscription to a contact tracing system through their mobile phone, and in some cases using a
    wearable device, and bearing the costs associated with these measures,” Premier Fahie said.

    Can Someone please help me to understand.. are these protocols/measures only for visitors or for returning BVIslanders etc. as well..
  • che (26/10/2020, 22:30) Like (44) Dislike (1) Reply
    I think I'd rather go to Cuba. It has more freedom. Seriously, why would I come to BVI to relax and have fun when I have to go through all this? I know the balance is difficult and I'm not saying anyone could do any better but this means only a tiny number of tourists will come and they won't be going home saying it's been great. . That's just the way it is.
    • @che (27/10/2020, 05:16) Like (12) Dislike (28) Reply
      Great. Hope that others get the message. Dont come . We choose to live. Europe and America are now experiencing a Covid surge..Stay in your country . Thank You.
      • . (27/10/2020, 07:51) Like (19) Dislike (2) Reply
        Sweet. Your territory's economy is going to crumble due to this ridiculous rubbish - I can't believe what I'm reading!
        • BELIEVE IT (27/10/2020, 10:56) Like (12) Dislike (7) Reply
          Let us worry about our economy. I will rather be alive than on my death bed because of some" benevolent " tourist with an itch for a winter tan. Economies come and go but when you die it is forever. Plenty more to life than just tourust dollars. Life in the BVI was much more in quality before the tourists arrived .
        • @. (27/10/2020, 11:31) Like (1) Dislike (10) Reply
          The beneficiaries of the tourist economy are primarily expats from other Caribbean islands.
          Locals can survive without the tourists and are not happy with the presence and the negative contributions to their country from these expats.
          Do the locals a big favor.
          Believe what you read.

          • Manly (27/10/2020, 15:22) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
            I read on this website that tourism is 92% of the bvi economy. Good luck living on the other 8%.
          • Pup (27/10/2020, 17:44) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
            Should be some good deals on real estate once this is over. I’m sure a lot of the villa owners are going bankrupt already.
            • fact (27/10/2020, 21:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
              .26% Other words a 1/4 of 1%. Most of that number had 2.5 on average other serious medical conditions.
      • Really (27/10/2020, 12:16) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        You must live on Tortola and have a Government job
        • @ Really (27/10/2020, 13:03) Like (0) Dislike (9) Reply
          I live on Tortola but I am a real BVIslander and non civil servant. We survived long before tourists and their expat generated workers arrived and will continue to do so,if they are gone. Wont miss them.
          • Me (01/11/2020, 11:06) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
            “We survived long before tourist”, wow you must be very old. And just is a “ real BVIslander” . You sound like a grumpy individual who’s bitter about life and clueless to the world. Thank god your attitude is not representative of most folks on the planet these days.
      • Reader (27/10/2020, 20:35) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
        @ @che. I quite agree with you. Once people read the current news about the increased covid-19 surge in America and Europe, they would not waste time complaining about the measures put in place. Our population is too small to deal with the risk or/and consequences of reducing the measures/protocols to visit our shores. It's better to let the few who can meet the measures come than to "open the flood gates" then turn around and say "I told yuh they should not have opened the borders".
  • resident (26/10/2020, 22:38) Like (58) Dislike (0) Reply
    So what about residents returning home? Do they go through this vigorous regime also?
    • Yes (27/10/2020, 12:17) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      yes everyone
    • @resident (27/10/2020, 17:19) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      There is a re-entry online application process already in place for Virgin Islanders/Belongers and for persons who live/work here fulltime. Test and quarantine are also required in this process.
  • questions (26/10/2020, 22:38) Like (12) Dislike (2) Reply

    I stay in a house I own but the keys are here in the US so how will they be able to approve the accommodation before I visit? Not sure I trust strangers poking around my home and having my keys.
  • Rumble (26/10/2020, 22:40) Like (73) Dislike (4) Reply
    That is too many COVID test. I cannot believe VIP came up with this crap.
    • @Rumble (27/10/2020, 06:25) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
      Someone also need to establish if all those test are in line with industry standards.
  • traveller (26/10/2020, 23:13) Like (24) Dislike (0) Reply
    How much does quarantine cost and the PCR test
    • Funny (27/10/2020, 12:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      $135 for test at last count and $200-$300 a day for first four days...
  • Plummet (26/10/2020, 23:19) Like (46) Dislike (3) Reply
    I never thought a time like this would come within my lifetime and so suddenly...but here we are... the measures that are being taken that basically invades your privacy has a lot more to do with many things other than the pandemic....you shall see.
  • Its district (26/10/2020, 23:36) Like (23) Dislike (0) Reply
    So we going back into the NON FUNCTIONING SOCIAL SECURITY FUND TO FLOAT THE ECONOMY AGAIN. MIND YOU, THE CHECK MATE IS ON HER WAY OUT BEFORE DESASTER HIT. WHO IS THERE TO SAVE THE PENSIONERS, OLD AND CONTRIBUTORS. A LAW Was passed so that they can DIP IN IT!!!
  • Norris Turnbull (26/10/2020, 23:48) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Go figure
  • So, not open for Tourism (27/10/2020, 00:07) Like (27) Dislike (0) Reply
    If that's wasn't the intention then anyone that thought this was a good plan has proved themselves unqualified. Speaking of unqualified, the BVI wants to install software from their snake oil vendors on my device?!? When does this relax to the next phase because this is a no go.
    • No (27/10/2020, 12:20) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      the software is aready on your device
    • solution (27/10/2020, 12:44) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
      If I wasn’t such a law abiding person i’d Be tempted to use an old phone, download their dodgy app on it then
      Leave it at home and use my normal phone.
      • Yes (27/10/2020, 12:51) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
        orjust leave your phone in the hotel
        • track (28/10/2020, 06:06) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
          They require you to have your phone with you all the time but they don’t say it has to be the phone with the app installed
  • TF? (27/10/2020, 01:06) Like (7) Dislike (26) Reply
    Everywhere has protocols in place for travel that incorporates both self-isolation/quarantine and testing! To expect any less is crazy. And let's be realistic the whole global economy is reeling masses are not traveling
    • Lb (27/10/2020, 07:13) Like (25) Dislike (1) Reply
      Not one single other Caribbean country has mandatory quarantine or isolation as a part of their protocols!
      • LB not so (27/10/2020, 08:36) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
        That’s not correct, several Caribbean countries have quarantine or more nicely put as ‘vacation in place’ . A lot have the same amount of testing too ...Bermuda has installed pop up test stations so that they can test their visitors several times in 1 vacation
        • BUT... (27/10/2020, 13:07) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
          The fee in Bermuda is $75 for all testing and entry. We dont even know what the cost is as yet - we are just assuming its $130 x4 per person. We need all the details. In my mind that was the most challenging aspect of the announcement last night - still so many gaps in information so people just throw their hands in the air. We can not take bookings if we can not provide all the details. VIP - you have had enough time to work this out. C'mon - you were elected. Do better. Yes protect our citizens but that means their livelihoods as well. You can not just throw this stuff out there like it doesn't matter to a large proportion of the population - locals and expats.
    • Message (27/10/2020, 07:57) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      Be kind to others.
      Stay in your country and vacation there.
      Much appreciation !
  • Hotelier (27/10/2020, 03:57) Like (31) Dislike (1) Reply
    Understand this. No one is opening. No one is coming . Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.
    • Message (27/10/2020, 11:58) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      I don't understand why this country is like this.... When you do a covid test, why you need to do others 5 days quarantine? Who pay this 5 days??? So for the tourist come for a week- vacation... He's have just one day fun.....
  • Real Talk (27/10/2020, 04:13) Like (20) Dislike (1) Reply
    Well saw common sense aint common no more these idiots with the phd killed the bvi in just one night .
  • JB (27/10/2020, 04:59) Like (29) Dislike (2) Reply
    I have already booked flights for 12/5/2020 and planned on staying on JVD for a week with my wife. I can see now that that can't happen. BVI is not really going to be opened for business until travelers can be tested in a more reasonable manner.
  • life (27/10/2020, 05:03) Like (9) Dislike (14) Reply
    these measures are not only done here some of the other Caribbean countries have them the visitors comes in with their own test and is put on quarantine for 4days after that they are tested again wait for results if it is good then they will be free to go it is after the second test it shows up this is serious we have to be careful I work in the tourists industry ineed to be back to work but we have to take control before the virus control us it kills yes it do the government know what they are doing better save then sorry trust God this too shall pass
    • Expat (27/10/2020, 07:13) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
      On what Island do you see tourists having to quarantine as such?
      • life (27/10/2020, 08:29) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
        you need to read the news from other Caribbean countries and you will see not going with hear say this is fact they have portrayals that must be followed and the tourists is still going
      • only (27/10/2020, 12:21) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
        first 4 days the hotels on Tortola will be doing well
    • Lb (27/10/2020, 07:15) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      That is a lie! Name one other Caribbean country with a mandatory quarantine much less a 4 day quarantine! None!
    • At Life... ur wrong (27/10/2020, 07:20) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
      This plan is actially 8 days quarentine with 3 test in 8 days....If u have common sense this doesn't make sense.
    • @Life Stop it.. Nonsense.. (27/10/2020, 08:43) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
      I can always tell when a civil servant blog. U can see their paying is sure..They talk the most selfish nonsensical things....Tell us Which Island quarantine visitors for 8 days and have them do 3 test in that 8 days period.. Anyone with common sense will know that doesn't make sense....
  • Hmmm (27/10/2020, 05:55) Like (42) Dislike (6) Reply
    If I were a tourist I would not come here. Who in the name of 1984 thought of this?

    Watch and see next they'll be coming up. With mandatory vaccinations for a cold virus with a death total less than the annual flu virus even with the numbers fudged.
    • @hmm (27/10/2020, 08:09) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      They sold us out what’s new
    • @ Hmmmm (27/10/2020, 11:16) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      "I were a tourist Iwould not come here"....evidently this is the intent. What kinda human would be forced in ng their presence at a time like thus?.. Death tolls in their countries are surpassing the previous wave in their countries. Thus tiny country with six ventilators and few hospital beds. Indigenous Islanders were wiped out when they were introduced to disease bearing colonizers with syphilis, pox and much more.
      Now the descendants are yapping at the gates with COVID 19. When will it end.

  • vip (27/10/2020, 07:05) Like (42) Dislike (2) Reply
    Very Idiotic Policy - do they really think holiday makers will come and spend over a week in quarantine/isolation/under restrictions, and be charged for the privilege. Madness
    • @ vip (27/10/2020, 08:12) Like (3) Dislike (25) Reply
      Well those are the rules. Those who oblige are welcome and those who don’t are not. It is that simple .
  • tough one (27/10/2020, 08:06) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why doesn’t the government just set up a GoFund me page wherein prospective tourists can just donate the money they’d spend in the Territory without leaving the comfort of their homes to deal with a ridiculous strategy: Test 5 days before (not cheap in US), buy extra medical insurance (also not cheap), test here (how reliable can that be?), pay for and upload some software the security of which is unknown and then spend $$$ on quarantine at some govt facility with security outside the door to make sure you don’t go anywhere after which they relax and go about their vacation. BVIs is nice, but not that nice for most people to want to go through that all rigamarole. None of that will guarantee that they don’t get infected here unless there is much wider testing in the community. None of that will work for day trippers to JVD, or for that matter, for day trippers returning from the USVIs. Fundamentally, the problem is the govt wants zero COVID risk, which is only achievable with total isolation. There’ll be risk with any other decision.
  • The Madam (27/10/2020, 08:07) Like (3) Dislike (5) Reply
    Europe and America are currently experiencing a Covid 19 surge. Possibility of global travel restrictions in the near future. Why leave your country for frivolity exposing others to this deadly virus and also take a risk of not being able to renter your country because of a lock down ...Stay in your country The World thanks you!
  • lol (27/10/2020, 08:10) Like (6) Dislike (16) Reply
    I wonder if y’all listening to yourselves? Other islands / countries have it way worst!keep us safe premier and don’t listen to the noise. Our lives are way more important than money.
  • Hmm (27/10/2020, 08:20) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    I ain’t hear them saying bout person coming to go on a boat for a week if they have to quarantine there boat or hotel,an does it make sense guest coming hear for 7 days an have to quarantine for 4 days
  • details (27/10/2020, 08:31) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    The devils is as always in the detail. Let’s be fair because If the app is something people can look up, verify and trust etc in advance and is not another dodgy, no name operator then it will likely pose minimal resistance to all but the QAnon brigade (bonus).

    If the approved venues for quarantine include the hotels they want to stay at and not the hovels in town, again it may not be too bad. Four days of room service in an ONB/Guana/Little Dix room/villa isn’t ideal but could work for some. It is unlikely that 4 days out of a week or ten days will work for charter sailors though. Mega yachts with their chefs on board it may work for though.

    It is much less likely to be a problem for the long term visitor such as those with property here. They need to be specifically welcomed back. It is curious we have had heard no real discussion about bringing in special permits for remote workers. Not only could this fill rentals or hotels and replace lost economic activity but we may also find some of them can be tempted to relocate some of their business here, and we display more and more economic substance here. But yet again we see Bermuda, Cayman, Barbados etc marching ahead.

    A simple CCTV and drone set up with a capable and honest operator can monitor the keys gathering spots for general good distancing and quarantine breach.

    We need to get the better more instant tests here though. Weren’t they already being offered to us?
    • Sorry Mate (27/10/2020, 09:59) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      It's a dodgy, no name operator.

      Amber Group Limited. Ever heard of them? Track record in the space?
    • Thinking Out Loud (27/10/2020, 15:00) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      How many people you see roaming their phones when they come here.
  • Fail over n over (27/10/2020, 08:40) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    This the best after such a long lockdown!?
    Da mek sense ?
    Have to be real important for ppl to visit land of the turrle doves
  • Guess (27/10/2020, 08:46) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    I completely understand they want to protect the BVI but all that testing and stuff will not fly with tourist or even residents wanting to come home for the holidays. People want to relax and not be monitored. A test within 5 days of entering should be fine at least that's how USVI is doing it. Maybe all of this wont be needed if there were direct flights and people don't have to stop in the USVI or PR before this come in. All the visitors will stop there before they have to deal with all this.
  • island man (27/10/2020, 08:52) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    You guys are in serious problems. How can someone go on a vocation and go through all of that
  • Eyes open (27/10/2020, 12:18) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    For years I have been telling people the the Mark of the Beast will be enforced not by Microchip Vaccinations but by the Microchip we already have.....our cell phones
  • Understand (27/10/2020, 12:29) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I understand why the Premier came up with this, he says the borders are reopen but they are not.This will allow residents, home owners, boat owners , locals to return to the territory with some freedom after 4 days and complete freedom after 8 days.This is a week better.

    This is not for tourists and the problem is they advertised this for tourists but 90% or more only come for 7 days and to let them only have basically 3 days of doing only what they are told they are allowed to do is like when i visted China without getting tested and paying to be locked upand fed for 4 days .

    With the 5 tests needed 1 before 3 here 1 for leaving will cost $675 minimum then 4 days in lockdown which averages between $200-$300 a day so an extra $1500 on to everybody's holiday and then a groupf of 4 thats $6000 for all the hassle....why bother
  • Ex visitor (27/10/2020, 12:59) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I’m sure the government will pay all the data & roaming costs for their tracking app one must download.

    Aw, I didn’t bring my phone
  • Greek (27/10/2020, 13:15) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Everyone I know is rebooked or in the process of rebooking to the USVI. They are going to have their strongest season ever!
    • @Greek (27/10/2020, 17:51) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Better them than us. They also have FEMA,Food Stamps,Welfare , Medicaid, Stimulus, loans that will be forgiven,and more than 6 ventilators and all subsidized and provided free of charge by the US.
      The (B) VI has zilch except for a self inflicted animus relationship with the UK. We are on our own.
  • CaptainChris (27/10/2020, 15:11) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Really who in their right mind would vacation in the BVI, what most people consider their only vacation a year which on average a vacation only is for 1 week to spend the entire week under surveillance and quarantine. I would spend my vacation somewhere else. This will be the nail in the coffin for the BVI tourist season of 2021. As they say the cure is going to be worse than the risk financially, and mentally for the local population.
  • confused (27/10/2020, 15:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What about my kids coming home for Christmas?
  • YW (28/10/2020, 06:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    They converted to Judaism.
    Not a problem now.
  • reason (28/10/2020, 15:08) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    In reason I agree protocols must be in place.

    It is however unreasonable to expect a tourist to travel to the BVI for a vacation for 1 week, with protocols like these. Its not going to happen.

    In reason businesses which are not making any money can't have employees, therefore the employees will have to be let go and since nobody is hiring, we will have one of our most aggressive unemployment periods ever seen in the BVI. And yes, we want to live but BVI how we living?

    So in reason, with a reasonable question, who is going to feed all of the people who will require assistance in a short period of time if we can't make this thing work.

    Lots of domino effects will come out of this matter.

    It is not a question of having no risk but managing the risk and mitigating it as much as possible while at the same time facilitating the needs of the employed population and then some.

  • reality (29/10/2020, 03:20) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    There will not be tourism in the BVI at a substantial level until there is widespread worldwide vaccination. Even if viable vaccines are approved by early 2021, it will be quite some time before a large number are manufactured and administered to a large number of people. This would bring us into late spring or early summer of 2021- about the beginning of hurricane season. I hope I am wrong, but I do not see tourism at any meaningful level back into the BVI until winter 2021/2022 season.


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