COVID-19 Surge Prompts BVI Travel Protocols Upgrade
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A surge in COVID-19 cases has prompted British Virgin Islands (BVI) government officials to establish local curfews and commercial shutdowns and upgrade traveler testing protocols.

Effective this week, fully vaccinated arriving travelers will be subject to nasopharyngeal rapid testing at their port of entry, with results available in 25 to 35 minutes. Travelers to the BVI are required to apply for entry via the BVI Airports Authority portal and may pay the $50 rapid test cost via the system.


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Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.

Nevertheless, visitors should be prepared to pay upon arrival “if implementation is not completed in time,” said officials in a statement.

The archipelago established a 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. curfew that began July 9 and extends for 14 days to July 23 and restricted restaurants, including hotel and resort restaurants, to take-out only service.

Additionally, hairdressers, barbers, gyms, bars, clubs and entertainment establishments have been closed effective July 6 through July 20. Other businesses or workplaces are required to restrict room capacity to 65 persons and maintain social distancing protocols.

The government has established a community COPVID-19 testing schedule for screenings on Tortola and Virgin Gorda. In all the BVI government has tested 49,927 people at Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital, reporting 793 positive cases with 312 recoveries and one death. The territory has a population of approximately 30,231 residents.

As of July 5 there were 480 active COVID-19 cases in the territory, including “a number of persons at some of our resident and treatment facilities.” Dr. Carvin Malone, the BVI’s minister of health, called the numbers “troubling,” adding, “All measures must and will be taken to arrest and stop this upsurge.”

Due to its status as a British Overseas Territory, the BVI received 34,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the U.K. government in February, said Malone. To date, 13,761 persons have received first doses with 9,517 having received second doses. Malone said the territory’s current vaccine supply will expire on July 31 and the government has appealed to the U.K. for additional vaccines.

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