Eight months after sealing its borders to international travel, the British Virgin Islands is again open for business with strict coronavirus protocols in place.
Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on the island of Tortola began welcoming new arrivals last week.
“Most enthusiastic about welcoming back our visitors and friends are our tourism partners and hospitality businesses,” Premier Andrew Fahle said in a statement. “I am proud to say that most of these businesses are now gold seal certified and trained to give world-class, safe service during this COVID-19 era. We are ready for you.”
Those planning to travel to the British Virgin Islands must have a negative coronavirus PVR test result from within five days of arrival. They also must apply for a BVI traveler certificate at least 48 hours prior to arrival.
Traveling To The BVI By Air
Upon arrival at the airport, visitors will head to a newly constructed Welcome Center that features a lounge, swabbing stations, isolation rooms, restrooms, and more.
Passengers will immediately undergo PCR testing, begin a four-day quarantine, and be given a monitoring device. They will undergo a second PCR test after four days in order to end their isolation. The cost of these tests and items is about $175.
In addition, visitors must test negative again before being allowed to leave the islands.
“We have strategically revised our legislations, improved our medical facilities with equipment, human resources, and other tools needed to ensure that we are equipped to manage your health,” Fahle said.
The last flights carrying visitors to the islands were on March 22, when the government closed the borders.
“Health and safety remains our number one priority, and as such, our people have made adjustments to the way we do business,” Fahle said. “Our establishments now have washing/sanitation stations, physical distancing markers, and masks or shields are required on entry.”
Traveling To The BVI By Boat
Visitors may also enter the British Virgin Islands by boat, but it must dock at an approved mooring site for four days upon arrival with those on board not allowed to leave the vessel.
Visitors are reminded that they should have enough provisions on the boat to last the four-day quarantine.
Once the quarantine is complete, vessels can sail to approved sites. They must be anchored by 6 p.m. and remain that way until 5 a.m. the next morning.
The reopening of the borders to international traffic is the third phase in the British Virgin Islands’ coronavirus strategy.
In early June, nationals and permanent residents who had been out of the territory at the time of closure were allowed to return. In September, those with work permits and dependents of residents were let back in.
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