Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Officials in the British Virgin Islands impose 24-hour curfew until at least April 16 to curb the spread of COVID-19.

This alert affects British Virgin Islands

This alert began 03 Apr 2020 12:40 GMT and is scheduled to expire 16 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Movement restrictions
  • Location(s): Territorywide (map)
  • Date: Through at least April 16
  • Impact: International travel restrictions, internal movement restrictions, significant business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) have imposed a 24-hour curfew until at least April 16, as part of the territory's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The measure allows for residents to obtain basic goods until April 4, according to the following instructions:

  • Essential workers and groups considered vulnerable, due to age or health conditions, can purchase goods 0600-0800 April 2-4
  • Residents whose last names start between letters A-I will be allowed to purchase goods 0800-2100 April 2-3
  • Those with last names starting between letters J-R will be allowed to purchase goods 0800-2100 April 3
  • Those with last names staring between letters S-Z will be allowed to purchase goods 0800-2100 April 4


Only one person per household will be allowed to purchase goods. Other essential services will be open 0800-1800 until April 4.

Starting 1800 April 4, a 24-hour curfew will be in force until April 16, with only essential workers allowed to leave their residences. Authorities said the measure is likely to be extended until at least April 18. All sea and airports remain closed for passengers until further notice; the measure does not apply for freight, cargo, or courier transport.

Authorities may take additional measures in the coming days, especially if the spread of COVID-19 continues. The measures in place will significantly impact business and transport in the country, with larger than usual 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
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in the areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

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/media-centre