STATEMENT FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
M/V COSTA FAVOLOSA NOT ALLOWED TO CALL ON VIRGIN ISLANDS TODAY
26 FEBRUARY, 2020
After consultation with the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and other senior health officials, a decision was made that cruise ship M/V Costa Favolosa will not be allowed to call on the Virgin Islands today.
It was reported that a number of passengers had flown directly from Italy and had joined the ship in Guadeloupe within the last six days. This period is within the 14-day incubation period of COVID-19. It was also reported that 5 passengers had fallen ill with 3 testing positive for the Influenza A Virus, and are isolated on board the ship. It was determined that the ship was unable to conduct the test for the presence or absence of COVID-19.
In light of the public and health safety actions being taken in Italy in reaction to COVID-19, including the quarantine of select cities and cancellation of its own carnival activities, a decision was made to err on the side of caution.
Following Cabinet being apprised by the CMO and health officials, the Ministry of Health and Social Development is in continued discussions, and is working with all cruise lines calling on the BVI to ensure enhanced health and safety screening procedures and practices.
The cruise industry is of critical importance to the Territory and all efforts would be jointly made on a case-by-case basis to ensure the health and safety of residents and guests.
As a reminder, members of the public are advised to remain vigilant and observe good personal hygiene practices, such as (1) washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; (2) avoid the touching of eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; (3) avoid close contact with people who are sick; and (4) remain at home if you are ill.
The Government of the Virgin Islands wishes to reassure the public that it remains vigilant in ensuring that the safety and health of the people of the Virgin Islands and its visitors are foremost in the decision making process.