Authorities in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) have extended the existing 0001-0500 curfew through Nov. 5. The measure forms part of the territory's ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response plan. Workers in essential and critical services are exempt from the curfew.

Most commercial activity has resumed; however, businesses must enforce social-distancing guidelines of 1.8 meters (6 feet) 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 and additional capacity limits.

International Travel
Officials have begun gradually reopening BVI's air and sea ports, 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. All arriving passengers will be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine at an approved location.

Private and commercial vessels are prohibited from traveling within the BVI's territorial waters 1800-0500. Freight couriers and charter companies traveling between the US and the BVI are allowed to operate as long as they adhere to sanitation measures and conduct a biweekly analysis on their measures. Restrictions 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 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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