Ag. Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health and Social Development
Telephone: 468-3701 ext. 852 7742
Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Carvin Malone has announced Cabinet’s decision to implement a new curfew order after nine (9) new positive COVID-19 cases have been reported in the British Virgin Islands.
Honourable Malone stated that the Cabinet of the Virgin Islands will impose a curfew from 10:00 p.m. on August 21 to 5:00 a.m. on August 22; and from 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. from August 22 for the next 7 days.
Honourable Malone stated that the movement of vessels within Territorial waters is restricted except for approved fisherfolk and intra-island ferries with the exception of those traveling to and from Anegada. In addition, aircrafts will also be restricted unless approved to enter or leave Anegada from August 21 to August 28 and an island-wide testing will be held during that period.
Honourable Malone highlighted that businesses will be allowed to operate with the exception of bars and night clubs; restaurants except for takeout and deliveries only; daycare centres and facilities; recreational, gyms and sporting facilities and activities including summer camps; BVI and USVI freight couriers and charter companies with the exception of emergencies as approved.
Gatherings have also been downsized to a 20 person-limit and a minimum of six feet must be maintained at funerals, burials, weddings and faith-based activities.
The Minister for Health said, “Regrettably, several members of our community and business establishments have failed to adhere to basic public health guidelines and legal obligations, placing themselves, families, neighbours, co-workers, friends, and all the rest of us at higher risk of exposure to this aggressive coronavirus.”
He stated that in response, an increased surveillance of businesses will be implemented in accordance with the Public Health Suppression Order to ensure adherence with Social Distancing and Sanitisation Protocols.
“The situation will be kept under review and further decisions will be made based on the findings of our testing and investigations during this curfew period,” the minister said. He added; “We have 15 tests that we await results tomorrow, Saturday and we will be meeting in Cabinet to make further decisions if the need arise….as earlier decided, the sea borders must be protected and are now under 24 hour patrol and watch at all points to protect the lives and livelihoods of our people.”
Members of the public are urged to report any suspicion or evidence of people smuggling into the Territory to the relevant authorities including the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, Her Majesty Customs or the Immigration Department as illegal entry provides an avenue for COVID-19 to enter and spread among the community.
Persons who are experiencing any symptoms related to COVID-19 are also encouraged to contact the Medical Hotline at 852-7650 to schedule an appointment for testing. Common symptoms include fever, cough, headache, fatigue, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, muscle aches, or difficulty breathing.
The Government of the Virgin Islands remains committed to keeping the public informed of all significant developments related to COVID-19. For more information on the Territory’s COVID-19 response please visit the website www.bvi.gov.vg/Covid-19.