Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: British Virgin Islands extends 1900-0600 curfew through June 7 due to COVID-19. Restrictions on ports of entry remain in place.

This alert affects British Virgin Islands

This alert began 22 May 2020 12:40 GMT and is scheduled to expire 08 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Territorywide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Significant transport and business disruptions, increased security

Summary
Authorities in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) have extended the nightly 1900-0600 curfew for an additional 14 days, through at least June 7. The measure is part of continued efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Only essential workers are allowed to leave their residences during curfew hours. Officials have gradually relaxed restrictions on businesses since April 27. These businesses are required to continue to enforce strict sanitization and social distancing protocols. While most recreational facilities remain closed, beaches will be permitted to open daily 0600-1500 from May 24.

All air and seaports remain closed for international passenger transportation until further notice; the measure does not apply for air freight, cargo, or courier transport. Seaports are opened for domestic inter-island passenger and cargo transportation. The governor indicated that a phased reopening of the borders will begin June 2; however, specific details have not been announced. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The restrictive measures taken by the BVI authorities correspond with similar actions taken by other governments globally in response to the spread of COVID-19, a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. Premier Andrew Fahie has stated that the decision to relax some measures has been taken to rebuild the economy and grow the BVI's National Flow of Income. Should the number of COVID-19 cases significantly increase, relaxed restrictions may be reapplied. Likewise, a continued low number of cases may result in a further relaxation of restrictions.

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.


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