Visitors to the Territory are pleased with the recently announced relaxed COVID-19 protocols, according to Director of Tourism, Mr. Clive McCoy.
“Our Government has taken a phased approach to reopening the Territory during the COVID-19 Pandemic and what was gazetted on 16th November is another step towards easing the COVID-19 protocols for travellers arriving in the British Virgin Islands," he said on Tuesday November 23 through a press release issued by the BVI Tourist Board.
He added, "we are very encouraged with the response from travellers to the phased relaxation of our protocols, as our tourism partners have reported strong bookings for the 2021/2022 tourism season, reminiscent of pre-pandemic numbers. However, we still caution guests and the local population to strictly adhere to all the existing protocols that will ensure our safety, including, social distancing, mask wearing and observing hygiene and sanitization best practices.”
The Director added that guests should be reminded to confirm and comply with the COVID-19 protocols of the countries they are returning to or transiting through. Some countries require testing and there are several departure testing options in the Territory, including the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) and several private sector service providers.
Travellers returning via ferry through the United States Virgin Islands, must present a negative COVID-19 nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) (e.g., RT- PCR) or COVID-19 rapid antigen test within 5 days of travel and pre-register on the USVI’s travel portal,
The Government of the Virgin Islands announced via the Official Virgin Islands Gazette on the 16th November, that fully vaccinated travellers in the Territory are no longer required to test for COVID-19 upon arrival. Travellers would have to produce a negative result for a RT-PCR or approved rapid antigen SARS CoV-2 test taken no later than 48 hours before arrival in the Territory.
Fully vaccinated passengers that present proof of vaccination and a negative test result are also no longer required to pre-register on the Hummingbird portal. However, fully vaccinated passengers who present a negative test older than 48 hours, whether due to reasons such as delays and overnight layovers, will be required to pre-register on the Hummingbird portal and take a rapid antigen SARS CoV-2 test on the day of arrival into the Territory.
Pre-Registration is based on the port of arrival. Travellers arriving at West End Ferry Terminal must pre-register at https://westend.bvi.care/; travellers arriving at Road Town Ferry Terminal must pre-register at https://rtferry.bvi.care and travellers arriving at TB Lettsome International Airport must pre-register at https://airport.bvi.care. It should be noted that West End Ferry Terminal is designated for the entry of vessels carrying fully vaccinated passengers and crews only.
The protocols for unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travellers remain the same. This includes the requirement to seek travel authorization via the BVI Gateway portal at https://bvigateway.bviaa.com, test on arrival and quarantine for seven and four days
Additionally, the Gazette also announced that fully vaccinated cruise ship passengers or crew members who embark a cruise ship and have a negative test result from a RT-PCR or approved rapid antigen SARS CoV-2 test before arrival in the Territory, shall not be required to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival in the Territory; and shall be allowed to move freely within the Territory, adhering to all the Territory’s COVID-19 Protocols.