Critical Alert

British Virgin Islands extend COVID-19-related 2000-0500 curfew until at least Oct. 8; restrictions on nonessential businesses remain. 

Alert Begins 02 Oct 2020 10:42 PM UTC
Alert Expires 08 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

 

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Territorywide
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: International travel and business disruptions

 

Summary
Authorities in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) have extended the 2000-0500 daily curfew as part of the territory's ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) recovery plan. The measure went into effect Sept. 24 and will remain in place through at least Oct. 8. Workers in essential and critical services are exempt from the curfew.

With regard to other COVID-19-related restrictions, nonessential commercial activity has resumed; however, the closure of daycare centers and preschools, public pools, cinemas, bars, nightclubs, and other entertainment centers will continue until further notice. Businesses that reopen more generally must enforce social-distancing guidelines of 1.8 meters (6 feet) of between individuals, require that facemasks be worn, and adhere to sanitization protocols. Gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited. Beaches may be subject to regulated hours of operation.

International Travel
Officials have begun gradually reopening BVI's air and seaports, though most international leisure travel remains banned. Citizens and permanent residents of the BVI are allowed to re-enter the territory. Moreover, work permit and exemption holders, medical students, dependents of citizens or residents, and persons conducting business in the territory are allowed to enter.

Private and commercial vessels are prohibited from traveling within the BVI's territorial waters 1800-0500, except for ferries, which may operate between the hours of 0500-2000. There are no restrictions on air freight or courier transport. Measures are subject to amendment at short notice.

 

Background and Analysis
Premier Andrew Fahie previously stated that an earlier decision to relax the measures was taken to grow the BVI's National Flow of Income and allow economic recovery. Nonetheless, tighter restrictions may be reimposed if the number of COVID-19 cases increases significantly. Likewise, a continued low number of cases may result in a further relaxation of restrictions. Authorities could impose highly targeted localized measures on some islands in response to increased activity.

 

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. 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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