BVI Closed To Cruise Ships, Task Force Formed

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(PLTM) - The British Virgin Islands has placed a temporary ban on all cruise ships for the next month, as the Novel Coronavirus spreads globally.

Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie also announced that there is also a special task force formed.

Addressing the public in a statement on Friday, March 13, he said the temporary ban on cruise ships while unfortunate is necessary.

“First, let me inform that on Friday 13th March, the Cabinet of the Virgin Islands convened a Special Meeting and endorsed the decision taken by your Government that effective Saturday, 14th March 2020 no cruise ships would be allowed to call on the Territory of the Virgin Islands within a 30 day period, in the first instance," Premier Fahie stTed.

The Premier said that the ban has already been communicated to the cruise lines.

In the meantime, Cabinet has also agreed to the limiting of the number of international ports of entry in terms of passengers to three.

The ports that are now open will be the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport, Road Town and West End Ferry Terminals, and one cargo port of entry – Port Purcell which will be subject to relevant Order or legislative amendment, he stated.

He explained that these “measures are necessary to facilitate the effective screening of passengers.”

Task Force Formed

Meanwhile, the Premier said Cabinet endorsed the establishment of a technical team named the Coronavirus Economic and Fiscal Stability Taskforce to make recommendations and provide advice on the economic sustainability of the Territory over a six-month period.

He said the objective is to address the possible economic challenges that the people may encounter as a result of what is happening.

“The Task Force will be responsible for monitoring the situation and presenting proactive solutions so that we can remain ahead of the curve. This task force is examining the real, possible and probable impact of the virus from multiple angles, and using this analysis to devise strategies for the BVI to successfully overcome those challenges,” he added.

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