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‘Premier is crazy’ to reduce cost of COVID-19 tests, travel accessories- Julio S. Henry

- urges tourists to postpone travels if they cannot afford VI's travel policies
Social Commentator and former talk show host, Julio S. Henry aka ‘Sam’ has criticised the Premier over a move to reduce the cost of COVID-19 travel accessories to make it more affordable for tourists to vacation in the Virgin Islands when the territory re-opening on December 1, 2020. Photo: VINO/File
A previously estimated $450 cost per tourist has been reduced to almost a third, Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) announced in an update to the re-opening protocols on Tuesday, November 10, 2020, alongside Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Carvin Malone. Photo: GIS/Facebook
A previously estimated $450 cost per tourist has been reduced to almost a third, Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) announced in an update to the re-opening protocols on Tuesday, November 10, 2020, alongside Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Carvin Malone. Photo: GIS/Facebook
The Virgin Islands will begin receiving international visitors from December 1, 2020. Photo: VINO/File
The Virgin Islands will begin receiving international visitors from December 1, 2020. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Social commentator and former talk show host, Mr Julio S. Henry aka ‘Sam’ has criticised Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) over a move to reduce the cost of COVID-19 travel accessories to make it more affordable for tourists to vacation in the Virgin Islands when the territory re-opens on December 1, 2020.

Henry, who made the criticisms during the Monday, November 16, 2020, edition of the Umoja show alongside host Cromwell Smith aka 'Edju En Ka', called the move ‘crazy.’

“$175? Boss that’s crazy, the Premier is crazy to even offer that kind of reduction,” he said.

Cost reduces from an estimated $450 to $175 

On November 10, 2020, Premier Fahie announced that the estimated $450 per tourist cost to travel to the VI would have been reduced by to almost a third, to $175.

The one-off cost would cover a traveller app, monitoring bracelet and two COVID-19 tests once on VI soil; however, Mr Henry suggested that the cost reduction was not necessary, since tourists should be budgeting for the unexpected.

“You are a tourist, you travelling… you have to have money for the unexpected… these are part of your travelling budget, don’t tell me $175 is too much money,” he said.

Mr Henry said tourists should know about the destination, the cost to get there, its policies and other associated costs before travelling. 

Tourists who can't afford VI could 'come a next time' - Mr Henry

“If you can’t afford all of that then wait… wait and come at a later time,” Mr Henry urged prospective tourists, should the price remain at $450 estimate.    

In May 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Henry had unsuccessfully moved to pressure the Hon Fahie-led administration to re-open the tourism sector, forecasting that the economy would sink if tourism was not revived.

“We must remain vigilant in how we open our borders and consider best practices for screening visitors... Persons are fearful on both sides of the coin, but our economy will sink, and our Territory will suffer greatly if we do not get back to business for our tourism and hospitality industry,” he had said in a circular published on May 7, 2020.

42 Responses to “‘Premier is crazy’ to reduce cost of COVID-19 tests, travel accessories- Julio S. Henry”

  • Rubber Duck (17/11/2020, 09:51) Like (43) Dislike (1) Reply
    Not everyone is as rich as you folk at the centre of stuff.

    But will anyone be coming because the “ portal “ still doesn’t work.
  • Ghost (17/11/2020, 09:57) Like (92) Dislike (0) Reply

    VINO I am so happy you published Henry’s own words against him for he was one of the screamers for the Gov’t to open the place... he sounds like such a hypocrite.. if he was the one shelling out monies to get there or even get back home he would be singing a different song.. Henry need to just shut his mouth if he has nothing of relevance to say..in the past when he’d speak instead of coming across as concerned for persons in the BVi well-being during this covid time- he’d come across as money-grubbing and self-serving..
    ”empty vessels make the most noise”..

    • FEO GOMEZ (17/11/2020, 14:38) Like (36) Dislike (3) Reply
      That man blind as a bat and a mouth full of poop. For God sakes he is a taxi operator and you all stay interviewing this man about stuff THAT IS ABOVE HIS IQ AND READING LEVEL.
      • @Gomez (18/11/2020, 10:13) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
        Boy, shite like that raises more questions about the IQ of all the so-called community leaders. COSC included.
  • Unbelievable (17/11/2020, 09:59) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    From a sitting member of the BVI Tourist Board: "You are a tourist, you travelling… you have to have money for the unexpected… these are part of your travelling budget, don’t tell me $175 is too much money,” he said.
    Mr Henry said tourists should know about the destination, the cost to get there, its policies and other associated costs before travelling. "
  • concern (17/11/2020, 10:19) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    This just shows the persons who want to run the country. C. S. Cline and Henry. The Premier, the Governor and the Government should always come and listen to the masses, the department and ministry not just a few hand pick.
  • Lucifer (17/11/2020, 10:41) Like (39) Dislike (1) Reply
    Or maybe instead of people waiting for the price to drop, they will go somewhere more welcoming to tourists and decide that BVI is not worth the hassle now or in the future. Genius level thinking from Mr. Henry
  • Tourist (17/11/2020, 10:49) Like (54) Dislike (1) Reply
    This man is a perfect example as to why the Tourist Industry took a hit. Sometimes it is best to keep ones mouth shut.
  • usa (17/11/2020, 10:55) Like (44) Dislike (0) Reply
    This guy reminds me of a TRUE SIMPLETON AND A HYPOCRITE. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THE BVI, BEAUTIFUL PLACE, HOWEVER, IT IS PEOPLE LIKE THIS MAN THAT GIVES THE BVI A BAD NAME.
  • Micisnt4all (17/11/2020, 11:02) Like (31) Dislike (1) Reply
    That additional cost may lead tourists to find another sand and sea destination.
  • Strupes (17/11/2020, 11:10) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    But he catching his tail...I bet if was somethine to do with rxai he would of cuss.
  • Tourist (17/11/2020, 11:11) Like (45) Dislike (1) Reply
    He doesn’t have to worry... we weren’t coming anyway..lol. How inconsiderate of this guy to even say such. Suppose someone is traveling with a family of 4? $2000 plus quarantine for 4 days. There are other beautiful islands in the Caribbean to choose from. Nobody needs that type of energy.
  • musa (17/11/2020, 11:57) Like (34) Dislike (0) Reply
    is this news ;;;this guy need to be useful not useless.,.,,
  • old (17/11/2020, 13:57) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    Henry you need your own party. Then you could tell the party what to do. We need these people here. I need to work.. Y you want to run tourists from here. The world's is not the same anymore.. These are hard days my brother.
  • wowww (17/11/2020, 13:58) Like (16) Dislike (1) Reply
    Simply lack of respect towards the leader of the Country. I am not a fan of the Premier, however, I think it was very disrespectful to say that the Premier was crazy to reduce the fees. By the fees being reduced, the Tourist were willing to come.
    • ooooh (17/11/2020, 16:19) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      Respect is gained everyday all day everywhere. You don’t get respect because you a leader. You could be a lying and thieving leader and still looking respect? Papa said respect is earned.
  • Me (17/11/2020, 14:50) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply
    I do believe articles such as this should not be published. What is he trying to portray to the very tourists that pays his bills?
    He needs to think over things before he speaks!
  • Go sid dung (17/11/2020, 15:20) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    I guess he can't travel so he not thinking about any body else. He need to have a few tourist get in his taxi and get out and say thanks. See how he like it and tell him to ask Government for his taxi fare from those high COVID test I bet you he would stop talk.
  • Local (17/11/2020, 15:22) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply

    This man like smoking some kind of hard drugs

  • l (17/11/2020, 16:04) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mr don't have no respect for him self or no one in high place shame on you
  • VIslander (17/11/2020, 16:14) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    smh...the pressure is getting to him
  • Gran ENtrance (17/11/2020, 17:22) Like (23) Dislike (1) Reply
    Tourists who can't afford VI could 'come a next time' - Mr Henry

    “If you can’t afford all of that then wait… wait and come at a later time,” Mr Henry urged prospective tourists, should the price remain at $450 estimate.

    I think we have to reconsider the people getting airtime on these radio shows
    wannabe politicians. real bag of mixed nuts
  • concern (17/11/2020, 18:09) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yes samuel need to shut his bloody mouth and give the premier a chance to do his job hr just like noticing and playing like he so big and knows every thing.
  • MIXED NUTS (17/11/2020, 18:18) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    That's the way I like it ah ha ah ha. You could not have said it better. BVI a real bag of mixed nuts ah ha ah ha. We need TONS of drugs to cope.
  • HAHA (17/11/2020, 18:28) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I witness a incident last Friday with individual while on his phone exiting the taxi stañd nearly killed a pedestrian are still a ambassador
  • BuzzBvi (17/11/2020, 18:29) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    VI need a COVID reset and stop media sites posting stuff from Eejits.
  • musa (17/11/2020, 18:37) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mix nut or Missing nuts
  • BuzzBvi (17/11/2020, 19:00) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Can we gamble yet. I opening a book on the next Prem of VI. I would do the same for Gov but that done already unless you atill want to take a chance!
  • freertre (17/11/2020, 19:02) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Thoughtful Sailor (17/11/2020, 21:35) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sam, you are being either ignorant or illogical. There are enough extra expenses and hassles to keep tourists from coming here. It was absolutely crucial to reduce the fees. Oh, wait, you are the same guy who once told me that the Cruise Ships buy more provisions here than the charter yachts do, so I should not be surprised. Besides, by my calculations (cost divided by number of tests), it costs the government $38 per test, so $175 doesn't sound like the government is running at a loss....looks like a case of backing off making the protocols into a money making machine, and doing it at cost, instead.
  • Greed vs Reality (17/11/2020, 21:49) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    I wonder if he realized that Virgin Islanders would also be coming back home and must be quarantine as well. The reduction in cost would also benefit Virgin Islanders.

    He must have been told that tourists would have to pay the $450 and Virgin Islanders pay another price..LMAO

  • lets be real (17/11/2020, 22:12) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Can we focus on the fact that the airway cost to the BVI has gotten worse since COVID? Prior to COVID it was too costly and tourist mainly travel thru the USVI to get to the BVI via ferry. Currently, a trip to the BVI cost in excess of $400 ONEWAY with one or two overnight stays (depending on your country of origin). Who the hell wants to pay $800 roundtrip only to have to overnight in another country prior reaching the BVI.
  • 6 days (18/11/2020, 01:53) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Soo day 1 is 0 (arrival)
    Day after arrival is day 1 quarantine
    Then day 5 if negative u free to go.
    Wondering if we stupid or can’t count this is 6 days until freedom vacation etc .
  • Disinterested (18/11/2020, 06:39) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply

    “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt—-Mark Twain.” Some of us like to hear the sweet sound of our own voice, but it okay to take a pass sometimes on hearing our own voice. Sam lobbied for opening the country sooner. Now, he is waxing against an incentive to bringing visitors to the territory. Sam needs to be either fish or fowl. Just in case Sam forgets tourism even with its fragility is a major part of the BVI economy. Tourism is a major employer and contributes significantly to GDP and foreign exchange earnings. Covid-19 has exposed the importance of tourism to the BVI economy. Here is a news flash. Tourists/visitors have choices of destinations to visit. It is not a one way street. It is not my way or the highway. It has to be partnership between the territory and visitors. The lowered shared Covid-19 related cost is a reasonable incentive to attract visitors while protecting the health and safety of the territory.
  • Talking Crap (18/11/2020, 07:12) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sam shut the hell up dude. You sound stupid... but then again thats all the time
  • Little knowledge is dangerous (18/11/2020, 09:36) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Everybody feel the are competent and knowledgeable enough to run the affairs of the country . The ship is slowly beginning to leak ....
  • unbeliever (18/11/2020, 10:07) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lucira Health has an at home test kit that you can repeatedly use and the results take less than 30-minutes. The at-home test was able to correctly identify 94 percent of positive samples and 98 percent of negative Lucira’s website states the test is “intended to cost less than $50”. It is hard to comprehend this statement “If you can’t afford all of that then wait… wait and come at a later time,” Mr Henry urged prospective tourists, should the price remain at $450 estimate.
  • OMG (18/11/2020, 10:44) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    He will be the first one bawling when there's no tourist season. I swear some people just want to air their mouth to say they saying something...nothing but hor air
  • @$ (18/11/2020, 11:14) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Fool charg the tourist to high will only chase them away...it like droping the bon to get the shadow...


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