Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Officials in the British Virgin Islands extend 24-hour curfew until at least April 19 due to COVID-19 activity. Other measures in place.

This alert affects British Virgin Islands

This alert began 10 Apr 2020 09:45 GMT and is scheduled to expire 20 Apr 2020 12:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Territorywide (map)
  • Date: Through at least April 19
  • Impact: Significant transport and business disruptions, increased security

Summary
Authorities in the British Virgin Islands have extended a 24-hour curfew until at least April 19 as part of the territory's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). All businesses, including supermarkets and pharmacies, will be required to close during this time. Only essential workers are allowed to leave their residences.

All air and sea ports remain closed for passengers until further notice; the measure does not apply for freight, cargo, or courier transport. The measures in place will significantly impact business and transport in the country, with increased police presence in the streets. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the British Virgin Islands government correspond with similar actions taken by other governments globally in recent weeks, in response to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers. Plan for possible ground shipping and travel delays; seek alternative routes and shipping methods for time-sensitive cargo.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int

Government of the British Virgin Islands: https://bvi.gov.vg

BVI Government - Mandatory Curfew: https://bvi.gov.vg