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 reported that there are 11 active cases of COVID-19 in the British Virgin Islands.
The Health Minister stated during a Live COVID-19 Update on December 17, that the 11 active cases were discovered to be persons who recently travelled into the Territory and completed testing on entry (day 0) or on day 4.
Honourable Malone said, “Of the active cases, two (2) are returning residents and nine (9) are tourists or non-residents. All persons were deemed asymptomatic and are safe and secured in quarantine until they have completed the re-tested protocol yielding negative results to be considered recovered.”
The Health Minister explained that efforts to ensure everyone’s safety include addressing any deficiencies in the entry protocols and as such, Cabinet met and decided to address uncooperative behaviour of persons in quarantine and their intent on breaking the laws and protocols of the BVI.
Therefore, the fines that will increase under the COVID-19 Control and Suppression (Entry of Persons) Regulations, 2020 are as follows:
▪ Persons who deliberately tamper and damage the geo-fencing device face a fine of $2000.00 up from $125.00.
▪ Persons who engage in unauthorised visits with a person in quarantine face a fine of $5000.00 up from $500.00.
▪ Any person who contravenes the protocols or guidelines as set out in the Regulations face a fine of $10,000.00 up from $1000.00.
As it relates to the COVID-19 Control and Suppression (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2020 (No.5 of 2020) Cabinet has decided to increase the fine for failure to comply with a quarantine order to $10,000.00.
Honourable Malone also addressed efforts to improve the Government Approved Transportation (GAT) capacity and help reduce the present demand to accommodate visitors at the various ports of entry and the needs of guests during their day 4 testing.
He said Cabinet has now allowed for hotels, resorts and charter companies with approved Gold Sealed transportation services to be utilised under the direct authority of the Director of the Taxi and Livery Commission.
Honourable Malone addressed the challenge for Belongers and residents obtaining COVID-19 rt-PCR test results for entry and stated that they can now process waivers to the pre-arrival tests. This service is extended to Belongers and residents only and must be approved by the Minister for Health and Social Development in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer.
“Under these exceptional circumstances, such persons will be required to remain in quarantine for an extended period of seven to 14 days with an additional rt-PCR test administered at the end of the on-island quarantine. A negative test result must attain before release,” Honourable Malone said.
The total number of samples tested at the Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital laboratory of the BVI Health Services Authority as of December 17 is now 10,483; the total number of persons tested is 10,469; the total number of positive cases detected is 86; the total number of active COVID-19 cases is 11; the total recoveries 74; and 1 death.
The public is reminded to continue to comply with all health and safety measures that include hand washing, wearing of face masks in public spaces, maintaining 6 feet from others outside of your households, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, avoid touching your face and limiting large gatherings, especially during the upcoming holiday season.