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VI Gov't reduces cost of travel app, bracelet & COVID-19 tests to $175 total

- Tourists will now be required to do only 2 coronavirus tests on VI soil
The Government of the Virgin Islands (VI) has announced major reductions in associated costs to travel to the territory, which were implemented as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 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 last evening, 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 last evening, Tuesday, November 10, 2020, alongside Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Carvin Malone. Photo: GIS/Facebook
The Virgin Islands will reopen its borders to international travelers on December 1, 2020. Photo: VINO/File
The Virgin Islands will reopen its borders to international travelers on December 1, 2020. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Ahead of the December 1, 2020 reopening of the territory's borders and after consultations with stakeholders and medical experts, the Government of the Virgin Islands (VI) has announced major reductions in associated costs for travellers to the VI to meet the requirements implemented as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 last evening, Tuesday, November 10, 2020, alongside Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Carvin Malone (AL).   

COVID-19 tests reduced to 2 on VI soil 

According to Hon Fahie, the VI Cabinet has decided that all travellers for entry to the Territory, inclusive of citizens, Belongers, permanent residents and work permit holders, will be required to pay just $175 per person in associated costs.

The cost will cover the traveller app, monitoring bracelet and the reduced two COVID-19 tests once on VI soil, as part of another major adjustment to the re-opening strategy.

Previously 4 rounds of PCR testing were being required, including 3 on VI soil.

According to Health Minister Malone, "Cabinet decided that the following tests will be required: A certified PCR COVID-19 negative test within 5 days prior to arrival for all travelers from low-risk countries and within 3 days prior to arrival for all travelers from medium and high-risk countries.

"A test on arrival, which, if negative, allows controlled movement within the confines of an approved property. And a test after four complete days of quarantine, which, if negative, allows movement within the territory unabated.”

A traveler who tests positive before travelling will not be allowed to enter the VI; however, those testing positive on arrival will require 14 days quarantine, “and for the avoidance of doubt to allow a mandatory quarantine period of four days within the confines of an approved property or vessel.”

Meanwhile, those who damage or tamper with the monitoring bracelet will be charged a $125 fee cabinet decided.

“Cabinet also agreed travellers requiring a test from a government facility to facilitate exit from the Territory will be charged seventy dollars ($70.00) per test,” the Premier said.  

Steering committee offering input

Premier Fahie said as part of the adjusted protocols, a local steering committee led by Chief Operating Officer of Harneys Ms Felice Swapp, met to set the tone for a successful reopening of the Territory on December 1, 2020. 

Tourists opening will be facilitated through the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport from December 1, 2020, and on December 8, 2020, through marine approved areas.  

“It is important to note that all these efforts are being guided by the updated health policies to ensure, as much as humanly possible, the safety of our residents and visitors,” he said.

In the face of criticisms over the first draft of re-opening policies, the Premier had said that the VI's COVID-19 response plans remain fluid and is subject to change as the condition around the virus change.

16 Responses to “VI Gov't reduces cost of travel app, bracelet & COVID-19 tests to $175 total”

  • Kudos to the Hon Premier. (11/11/2020, 06:36) Like (17) Dislike (3) Reply
    This is good. The honourable Premier promised to go back to the people seem more in put and make the necessary adjustments. He did just that and got it 95 % Right... Minor adjustments Once we open and monitoring what's happening on the ground.. Congrats to the Health minister. The Health minister and the VIP government...I hated the old plan...it was one sided no consideration for businesses. This new plan is a perfect balance...It will keep us safe and bring the well needed economical activities.. .
  • Good News. (11/11/2020, 07:08) Like (3) Dislike (5) Reply
    This is good news.

    However. Should have come up with this 4 months ago. We wouldn’t be bankrupt. Now it’s a little too late.
  • John (11/11/2020, 07:31) Like (1) Dislike (8) Reply
    Gov on all trying to RIP off people
    • TITO (11/11/2020, 21:17) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      That is so true there price was $400.00 who is coming to the bvi to pay $175. 00 for a bracelet. keep all borders closed. For the next two years.DO they knew where the country will be. It is simple anyone coming to the BVI all hey have to get a test two days before traveling. My mom from there i never miss a Christmas in the BVI the GOV.T think every one in USVI is sick. They don't wan you all to come to the USVI. All u have to do is wear mast and sanitize your hands simple.
  • hummm (11/11/2020, 07:35) Like (4) Dislike (6) Reply
    So every decision this government make they change their minds in a couple of weeks lolol this is to funny . Here comes another lock down soon. It was nice while it lasted.
  • JVD (11/11/2020, 08:10) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Very nice,we’re moving forward hope all goes well
  • no proper planning (11/11/2020, 09:02) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    The VIP always backing up like lobsters
  • From a Tourist (11/11/2020, 09:28) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    These measures are more aligned with our expectations as a tourist. The original proposal meant we decided not to visit the BVI. Now, we need to get into the details before we book flights.

    1. How are the testing administered in the BVI at the airports and approved properties and by whom?
    2. When do we receive the results after taking the tests
    3. What are the lists of approved properties and do we just book them as usual for a minimum of 4 days?
    4. Do we still need to wear the bracelet after 4 days if a negative test is produced?
    5. What are the situations when a tourist would need a test on exit at $70 and is that a rapid results test or is that just for locals?
  • THEY not for US! (11/11/2020, 09:47) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply

    When you see price reduce by so much that to show us the prices can be low to begin with..... 

  • question (11/11/2020, 10:06) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What will be the price for gov quarantine for work permit holders
  • Rubber Duck (11/11/2020, 10:58) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    You really expect upscale tourists to allow them selves to be handcuffed with these ridiculous bracelets.

    They can’t even get the simple portal working yet.

    Plane £7.2 million

    Useless computer system. $6.4 million
  • resident (11/11/2020, 11:35) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mr. Premier have you ever done a COVID test? If you had you would not have been requesting all these test in the space of 1 week. It is very uncomfortable If I did a test 4 days before i arrive in the territory and it is negative. I still have to quarantine for 4 days, why can't i do the test at the end of the four days. I can't see anything changing from the time of embarkment to arrival in the territory.

    Other question. Do residents have to pay to be quarantined?
  • Capt (11/11/2020, 11:38) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Are these bracelets water proof or better yet salt water proof
  • Heckler (11/11/2020, 12:02) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    Government reduces profit margins on tourism opening lol
  • belonger (11/11/2020, 13:34) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Do belongers coming in have to have bracelets?
  • Viking (11/11/2020, 16:35) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well this is better news. If they continue with outlandish prices, we will spend our tourism dollars elsewhere. Eight of us plan on spending at least $10,000 when we charter in March 2021.


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