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Jr Minister protests closure of The Baths to non-cruise ship visitors

- said decision to deny non-cruise ship visitors is unlawful
Following a notice from the National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands (NPTVI) on June 30, 2021, that The Baths will be closed to non-cruise ship passengers, including resident of the VI during certain hours, Junior Minister for Trade and Economic Development, Honourable Shereen D. Flax-Charles (AL), right, has led a public protest on the decision. Photo: Facebook
The advisory by the National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands on June 30, 2021. Photo: VINO
The advisory by the National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands on June 30, 2021. Photo: VINO
THE BATHS, Virgin Gorda, VI- Following a notice from the National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands (NPTVI) on June 30, 2021, that The Baths will be closed to non-cruise ship passengers, including resident of the VI during certain hours, Junior Minister for Trade and Economic Development, Honourable Shereen D. Flax-Charles (AL) has lead a public protest on the decision.

NPTVI advisory

According to the advisory from NPTVI, effective Thursday, July 1, 2021, in compliance with COVID-19 protocols, to avoid overcrowding, maintain ‘travel bubbles’, and allow for social distancing to be observed, there will be a limit on the number of persons allowed to visit National Parks at a given time.

“On days when cruise ships are in port, The Greater Baths National Park will be closed to Residents and other Non-Cruise Ship guests between 9:00am and 2:00pm. The park will reopen once the necessary cleaning and sanitisation procedures have been undertaken.”

It also said notices will be posted on the NPTVI Facebook page.

Public protest

Hon Flax-Charles and at least three other persons, including former Director of Tourism Sharon P. Flax-Brutus, made their way to The Baths this morning, July 1, 2021, holding placards with words such as ‘All beaches are public’ and ‘Cannot be exclusive for cruise lines’.

According to the protestors, all beaches are public by law and also argued that it is not right to favour the cruise line sector of the tourism industry and make other sectors like the hotels, villas, and charter boats suffer by making The Baths off-limits to them.

They were also concerned that other tourist sites would also be reserved for cruise ship guests.

The Virgin Islands has received its first passenger cruise ship for well over a year today, July 1, 2021.

Decision surprising- Hon Flax-Charles

Speaking to Virgin Islands News Online, Hon Flax-Charles said she was surprised to hear that the NPTVI had taken such a decision when it was decided at a meeting recently that there would be no restrictions to The Baths to accommodate cruise ship guests.

It was noted that a number of guests from hotels and yachts were turned away by staff of the NPTVI this morning.

She said this prompted her to go to The Baths and speak up against the decision.

Hon Flax-Charles also said their presence there also resulted in non-cruise ship guests being allowed to visit The Baths.

According to her, The Baths is the leading tourist destination in the Greater Virgin Islands and it would be unlawful and unfair for anyone to be barred from visiting it.

VINO is following up on this story.

26 Responses to “Jr Minister protests closure of The Baths to non-cruise ship visitors”

  • We ain’t having it !! (01/07/2021, 12:52) Like (56) Dislike (4) Reply
    All for the sake of a so call virus
    • the rock (01/07/2021, 20:00) Like (3) Dislike (8) Reply
      That was a brilliant move by national park, jr minister you have to be crazy to stop that!
      • trrefdrfds (02/07/2021, 16:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        And the cruise lines want CGB and Long Bay Tortila.for their guest only too..
  • sick of um (01/07/2021, 12:59) Like (10) Dislike (24) Reply

    I don't know why miss flax protesting for...WHERE IS MY STIMMY?? done give the stimmy checks to all your fa**** and cl*** fr****** and kept the rest for y****** while real people was out here hurting & could've well use that stimmy. Girl go SIT DOWN somewhere from protesting looking a damn fool and if you gon be up and about GIVE THE WELL DESERVING CITIZENS OF THE BVI THEM STIMULUS CHECK!!! THANK YOUUUUU!

  • TORTOLIAN (01/07/2021, 13:07) Like (26) Dislike (2) Reply
  • Patient proves wisdom (01/07/2021, 13:12) Like (3) Dislike (14) Reply
    Being the covid-19 psndemic is still killing people all over world, I think Hon. Shereen Flax-Charles should show causionery undersanding at this time, and don't "rush the brush", meaning, be patient. Normalsy take time.
    • hmmm (02/07/2021, 16:13) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      And tourist have been allowed since December 1. They have been coming every day passengers are NOT the only tourists coming to the BVI.
  • Mrs Tubman (01/07/2021, 14:06) Like (8) Dislike (8) Reply
    It's good that consideration was made to exercise caution to limit the crowd at the baths. Giving preference to our visitors from which we generate the bulk of our economy is the proper action.
    • Yes (02/07/2021, 16:15) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      There is no carrying capacity at the Baths sadly. We cannot give preference to cruise passengers alone. What about our hotel and villa guests? What about our guests on Yachts? Clearly some don't understand BVI tourism
  • Dulce (01/07/2021, 14:10) Like (12) Dislike (4) Reply
    To be greeting our visitors with negative vibes about issues we have taken to safeguard their health and ours is beyond stupid.
    • Opportunity (01/07/2021, 16:33) Like (5) Dislike (5) Reply
      She glad for this opportunity to hit out at her Premier who she is not happy with... lots more to come....She is not the only unhappy one...
    • Hospitality (02/07/2021, 16:17) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      The.visitors NEVER saw any sign of protest. One thing with VG people. They know how to deal.with tourists
  • vip (01/07/2021, 14:35) Like (11) Dislike (11) Reply
    They even dont use the beach, for God and heaven sake go sit down..
  • Tongue Fu (01/07/2021, 14:40) Like (13) Dislike (5) Reply
    The VIP quickly becoming a Pappyshow. Now who negotiates for the cruises to come here? Is it not the BVITB that falls under the Premier's portfolio? Are you telling me that they did not know this beforehand? So Shereen protesting aganst her own Government?

    If a laugh a crap me pants.
  • UNITED (01/07/2021, 15:20) Like (18) Dislike (3) Reply
    Hon. Flax-Charles isn’t vaccinated. She was at the graduations in VG. Why is she not in isolation?
    • Vaccinated to the bone (02/07/2021, 16:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      You sure she ain't vaccinated??? She never said she would not get vaccinated. Lol..are you people silly
  • LilyAnn (01/07/2021, 15:33) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
    Well thank you!! I'm happy to be banned from the Baths, I would not like to get covid from them visitors !!!!!! I will happily stay home until they clear out the area...
  • Dr Seuss (01/07/2021, 15:38) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    To the Baths you should not go
    On cruise ship days it’s much too slow!
    Tons of people left and right
    Saw 3 women about to fight
    Yes I’ve been there I will confess
    It’s chaos confusion a great big mess
    Bad management is my best guess
    But the government surely don’t care
    It’s 3 bucks a head they will not share!
  • trhztregfdgfd (01/07/2021, 16:19) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
  • BVI UNITE (01/07/2021, 16:30) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    CRJ is kicking up because she can’t get on her Facebook page because it’s blocked. She’s in Facebook jail. She was trying to defend the closure of the Baths but we wasn’t having it! That was a C** Deep
  • what (01/07/2021, 17:07) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    remember the member of the house operates a tour company in gorda
  • tom (01/07/2021, 19:26) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Which government party she is in again? I am such this information was noted to all members in that party. Am I missing something?
  • No good (02/07/2021, 18:35) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Not a good precedent. As far as I’m aware the parks were donations and also took on volunteers to clean up after Irma. To cut off the parks from the public is a slap in the face to the original donation and volunteers in my opinion, further more government funds the NPT.

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