PREMIER AND MINISTER OF FINANCE HONOURABLE ANDREW A. FAHIE
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
VIRGIN ISLANDS CONTINUES TO MOVE FORWARD IN COVID-19
As a Territory, we continue the phased and controlled reopening of our borders, only at the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport. Since June 2, under this phase, we have been welcoming home our nationals, Belongers, holders of permanent residence, and naturalised citizens of the Virgin Islands.
As a Territory, due to hard work and sacrifice by all of our people and our guests who were in the Territory, we have been able to put measures in place to keep us all safe.
Our professionals in the Health Emergency Operations Centre, Ministry of Health, and all the supporting agencies, Cabinet, House of Assembly, have worked long hours to lead us to where we are today.
Our people have given up a lot in this collaborative effort to minimise the spread of COVID-19 on our shores.
We have seen what COVID-19 can do to our economy and to jobs. So, we are not taking any chances. COVID-19 is not playing around with us, and we are not playing around with COVID-19.
To date there is no known cure or vaccine for COVID-19 as families around the world continue to be immensely affected by the death of a loved one. By working together – as a Government and a people – with God at the centre and head of it all, we will continue to hold our own. We have managed to keep the infection and fatality rates down to very low numbers when compared to most other countries.
I wish to inform you the Cabinet met today and made the following decisions:
Cabinet advised that the National Security Council instruct the Attorney General to draft a new Curfew Order No. 22 of 2020 which takes effect 18 June to include:
- move the curfew hours to midnight to 5:00 a.m.;
- extend the hours of access to beaches from 5:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.;
- an increase of mass gatherings for faith-based organisations, graduations, weddings and funerals, only, with one person per 64 square feet, up to a maximum of 100 people;
- allow private vessels to use Territorial waters during full daylight hours from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; and,
- allow ferries to operate in Territorial waters within the Curfew hours between 5:00 a.m. and midnight.
As we continue to move forward in a controlled way, I want to encourage all of us not to let down our guard.
I am concerned that people are not social distancing standing six feet apart from each other. We are becoming complacent. We are not wearing our masks which should only cover our nose to our chin.
Each day we ignore these important steps as COVID-19 continues, we are putting our lives at risk.
I am asking all of us to do our part. Let us all continue to encourage each other. As we continue in this New Regular living and working with COVID-19, let us continue to be proactive. Let us continue to work in oneness of purpose. Let us stay informed and remain laser-focused. Each of us has a role to play to help our economy and to keep us safe.
We are in this together, and together we will defeat COVID-19. I am confident that you will stay the course.
By working with your Government, together we continue to reawaken and strengthen our economy as we work to protect our Virgin Islands for future generations to come.
I give you my assurance as Leader of this Territory that your Government in the midst of the challenges and adversity will stay true to the God of our forefathers; true to our purpose as Virgin Islanders; while remaining steadfast in purpose and diligent in our actions.
I thank you.