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USVI’s tourist wave ‘comes at a price’ – Deputy Premier

- said it has come @ the expense of a number of lives
Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) has reminded residents, who are displeased that a tourism wave is being seen in the neighbouring United States Virgin Islands (USVI) while the sector is near stagnant in the territory, the wave comes at a price. Photo: Facebook
Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Carvin Malone (AL) has said the curfew in the Virgin Islands could be lifted once persons continue to get vaccinated. Photo: Facebook
Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Carvin Malone (AL) has said the curfew in the Virgin Islands could be lifted once persons continue to get vaccinated. Photo: Facebook
Many locals in the US Virgin Islands and Virgin Islands have been hesitant to take the COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: GIS/File
Many locals in the US Virgin Islands and Virgin Islands have been hesitant to take the COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: GIS/File
BAUGHERS BAY, Tortola, VI- Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) has reminded residents, especially those who are displeased that a tourism wave is being seen in the neighbouring United States Virgin Islands (USVI) while the sector is near stagnant in the territory, the tourism wave in the USVI comes at a price.

“Many persons are looking at the USVI and are saying that they are experiencing a boom in their tourism numbers, but I have to be responsible and tell the people of the Virgin Islands that this does not come without a price,” he remarked during the April 6, 2021, edition of the VIP Let’s Talk show on ZBVI 780 AM.

He explained: “While in the BVI we have one COVID-19 death, in the USVI they have 26, which we are saddened by, but when persons act as if they would almost exchange both situations, they would exchange the USVI situation for the BVI situation they almost ignore the fact that the USVI has a much higher death count than we do.”

According to the latest data provided by the Department of Health in the USVI, representing April 4, 2021, statistics, there were 62 active cases in the territory: 28 on St Croix, 31 on St Thomas and 2 on St John.

Over 90,000 tests have been performed, with 2,945 people testing positive.

Twenty-six individuals have died from the virus in the US Virgin Islands.


Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Carvin Malone (AL) also commented, stating that there was another reason for the surge.

“In the USVI, there is a silver lining in terms of there is a movement of people, and it's looking impressive, but why is it? They are being attracted to it because the local population basically is refusing also almost at the same ratio to be vaccinated. So the folks in the United States, the folks in North America they are saying, “oh yeah? You have something there that might get outdated?” The airlines dropped their rates to $200 round trip, the hotels dropped their rates, and they get free vaccinations. So they are calling it a vacci-cation, vaccination vacation.”

He said these persons take their vaccines while enjoying what the USVI has to offer.

“So why is it that folks would travel thousands of miles to get their shots? Because in these places they know the benefits of it so we have a lot to convince our people to take it and yet people are travelling from over, all parts to make sure that it is done.”

The USVI is now administrating the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccines.

Local VI residents are reportedly hesitant to become inoculated as well, as opposed to the expatriates.

Benefits of being inoculated

“Folks are wondering out loud basically, well you are pushing the vaccination part of it and we must, but what are the benefits that we can begin to look at when it comes to the whole vaccination? And we have asked the health professionals to go and come back, whether it is going to be this week or next week, to look at some of the measures because the second string of vaccines will be administered, starting on the 22nd of April,” Hon Malone said.

He said when April 22, 2021, comes, he too will be getting his second jab and is also wondering what benefits will there be to being fully inoculated.

“The Centre for Disease Control (CDC), for instance, has made announcements that once you have the double doses, you would not have that restriction, in terms of quarantining, you can drop your masks, you can do a number of areas,” he remarked.

“So we have asked the team to go out and look into terms of the elimination of quarantine time, look in terms of whether or not there’s going to be just one requirement for the PCR testing is it before you come or after you reach and no more for instance.”

Curfews could be removed 

Honourable Malone also said the current 2:01 am to 5:01 am curfew, which has been imposed for several months, could be removed once persons continue to get vaccinated.

“We are going to look in terms of curfews, getting them all removed. 

In fact, that curfew order expires next week I don’t think we will have need for any more curfews, but we must keep pushing in terms of what is going to be best to continue to keep us safe,” he remarked.

31 Responses to “USVI’s tourist wave ‘comes at a price’ – Deputy Premier”

  • fact check (08/04/2021, 09:31) Like (25) Dislike (5) Reply
    Percentage wise BVI death rate is higher. You cannot only look at the raw numbers.
    • Crazy stupidness and foolishness (08/04/2021, 12:09) Like (33) Dislike (18) Reply
      Unfortunately as long as the BVI vaccine refuseniks continue with their nonsense (Bill Gates wants to track me, it will affect my libido, I won't be able to have children, it is a conspiracy against black people and other equally ridiculous tales) then the BVI will struggle to fully re-open. If it was really a conspiracy against us then why aare all the white people lining up to take it. If only they would stop their stupidness and foolishness then we would be safe to reopen.
      Next time you hear somebody complaining about the BVI economy, ask them whether they have been vaccinated - if they say no, then tell them that they are the reason we can't fully reopen.
      • WOW (08/04/2021, 17:05) Like (4) Dislike (6) Reply
        Forget about Bill Gates and all the rest of stuff you talking about , but check the Bible on the manner of how the mark of the beast will be issued. The Vaccine is in line with this findings.
        It will surely be seen in the future and will work on changing your DNA, so you won’t see the Lord.
        • Ghost (08/04/2021, 19:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
          @ WOW- this comment is SOOO STUPID (yes I added the o’s)..let me explain to you how nonsensical your comment is!... you have ever read anywhere in God’s Word that it will be given in the arm? Rather palm and forehead. Also why would God give man wisdom to make something that would stop them from serving Him when He Said He Desires NOONE to perish (in hell).. this logic is down right stupid.. I am not saying that the vaccine in question may not come with some risks but all vaccines and ALL medications we take comes with potential side effects.. it’s garbage like this that deters persons from taking it.. the WHO said that there’s no correlation between said vaccine and blood clots, but in all honesty who knows for 100% sure.. I am not saying this to force anyone to take it for it’s an individual choice and one should examine the benefits vs the risk ratio.. what I am saying however is to seek God for Wisdom and Guidance re: taking it and if you truly Trust Him and listen, God Will show you what to do.. and I wholeheartedly agree with what “crazy stupidness...” have stated.. God Said if we lack wisdom come to Him and He Will Give to us..
    • resident (08/04/2021, 14:55) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      not correct.
      USVI - 0.024
      BVI - 0.003
  • mulato (08/04/2021, 09:32) Like (33) Dislike (2) Reply
    Been isolated also came with a big price as well, ask the tourist sector they will tell you.

  • rattie (08/04/2021, 09:43) Like (17) Dislike (27) Reply
    Get vaccinated get vaccinated it save lives
    • @rattie (08/04/2021, 10:13) Like (12) Dislike (14) Reply
      Only GOD Can Save Lives Don't Get It Twisted..Man Nar Go Save You..Can You Save Yourself??
  • ndp (08/04/2021, 10:00) Like (64) Dislike (11) Reply
    The vip killed this country
    • @ ndp (08/04/2021, 10:25) Like (14) Dislike (65) Reply
      No sir it was 8 years under the corrupt ndp hence we have now a commission of inquiry
  • school chirren (08/04/2021, 10:02) Like (26) Dislike (5) Reply
    Who want to hear from any onetermer?
  • ausar (08/04/2021, 10:17) Like (22) Dislike (2) Reply
    You're forgetting Honourable Wheatley, the USVI could not close their borders. They really wanted to, but the ports are considered a part of the Federal Highway System, a system in which territories have no control!

    Yes weve suffered many deaths, but they couldnt be avoided. We had no control of the ports!

    Hopefully BVIslanders have learned from our mistakes, and would have done in contrariwise!

    Many St Thomians would love to come to the BVI to do business and shop in the same manner that BVIslanders come to St. Thomas, but it seems that theres lots of restrictions in movement!

    I welcome the day when BVIslanders could barge their cars to St Thomas to do business and St.Thomians in reverse.

    Truly, that would be a real "true" friendship between both countries!
  • long look me come from (08/04/2021, 10:27) Like (23) Dislike (1) Reply
    Showda is under fire he need to get with the program and do something for the farmers and education
  • Hmm (08/04/2021, 10:34) Like (44) Dislike (3) Reply
    USVI hsa 26 deaths total with a population 10 times ours, some of them were older people with pre-existing conditions. Only 26 deaths despite HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of visitors over the same period. I swear to god these VIP people are either dumb or think we are all dumb!!! Instead of admitting that they have failed us and we are losing market share to USVI, they double down on ignorance. One is here talking about death and another minister saying USVI is only booming because of free vaccines. God help us if this is the simplistic manner in which our leaders think.
    • Mathematician (08/04/2021, 12:42) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      The USVI has way less than ten times our population! Look it up.
      • @Math (08/04/2021, 14:23) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
        This was inclusive of visiting numbers since the pandemic started.
    • hello (08/04/2021, 20:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Respectfully, please do noy take the Lord's Name in vain.. He does not like it, at all.
  • New Ferry boats (08/04/2021, 11:58) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    May be the companies should have gotten new ferry boats? Noisy, smoky boats. Do better.
  • Excuses Government (08/04/2021, 12:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I have to agree with the Minister of health rational and reasoning...Minister Malone also mention the vaccine options the usvi has that we dont, and I like the term "Vacci Cation" Not Sowande any discussjon focusing on the negatives only is focus on putting fear in the people thats not a good way to lead,,, I think Carvin is searching for that workable balance.., We are tirsd of the excuses, the protocols are working, open the place up fix and adjust as you along...
  • BuzzBvi (08/04/2021, 12:43) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Do the math. Covid rates are the same per head of population in USVI and VI. Difference is they have a booming tourist industry and we send ours further into decline everyday with the bad treatment of tourists trying to come here, worse when they are here and new Trade laws to be rushed. These will make sure all business and investment in the VI dwindles, as the bureacracy is doubled and motivation to invest destroyed completely. Unless you are already long time in business already and then you get pioneer status for a ferry business and concrete business. Real pioneering stuff or just pay back. On the road to nowhere.
    • st thomas (08/04/2021, 15:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      The bvi don’t want them we keep them send down more charter companies we welcome them
  • Get from here (08/04/2021, 13:01) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    I dam reverse psychological hypocrisy..bastered..
  • Fools (08/04/2021, 13:37) Like (21) Dislike (2) Reply
  • Ready to come back (08/04/2021, 13:48) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    I'm in Florida and ready to come back to the BVI on charter on several boats and a crew of 18+ people, all ready to spend money, who are ALL vaccinated, but since the BVI has made no concessions for vaccinated people, it makes it very difficult. US now has 150 million vaccines given, the BVI needs to open up for vaccinated people.
  • st. thomas (08/04/2021, 14:45) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    I would often take the ferry over to Tortola to purchase certain things from the Mom and Pop stores that I can’t find in St. Thomas. I refuse to pay 2 hundred dollars on a ferry that don’t have the decency to offer the passengers a small paper cup of water. I agree, it would be much better if you use a transport barge that can carry both passengers and cars from Tortola to st.Thomas.
  • st thomas (08/04/2021, 15:19) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Deputy premier don’t look at we put measures in place and make your people happy open the place like we and bvi people do ayo part as well
  • BS (08/04/2021, 16:34) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is crap. They have a popof 106,000 and 26 people have died of Covid to date. They have lao vaccinated 28% of their country. The VIP decisions are crap and they are adraid of a bogeyman that doesn't exist. Open up to all vacinated travelers without quarentine NOW.
  • Shaft (08/04/2021, 16:35) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Government Workers (08/04/2021, 19:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why should we open up. I had no hardship since one year

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