The Cabinet of the Virgin Islands has approved Phase 2 of the Restricted Border Re-opening Plan to take effect from September 1.
Premier and Minister of Finance Honourable Andrew A. Fahie in a statement titled “COVID-19 Update- Phase II” said this phase of the Border Re-opening Plan will accommodate persons in the following categories with requirements for entry:
- Work Permit Holder or Work Permit Exemption Holder
- Immigration Status: Residing
- Students of locally based Medical Schools and H. Lavity Stoutt Community College
- Exceptional approval for persons employed by the Government of the Virgin Islands and its Statutory Bodies, Agencies and Boards; and Teachers (public and private)
- Dependents (spouses and children) of Belongers, Permanent Residents, work permit holders, work permit exemption holders
- Persons desirous of conducting business in the Territory
The Premier explained that Cabinet has also decided that the approved COVID-19 entry into the Territory, measures of mandatory quarantine, social distancing protocols, sanitisation and hygiene protocols and approved face covering (masks and shields) must be adhered to by all of the categories.
Premier Fahie added that Cabinet also decided that the following special category of persons will be allowed in the Territory for no longer than five days:
- Aviation crew
- Maritime crew
- Healthcare practitioners/medical staff:
- Emergency maintenance, repair and other technical personnel
- Other essential specialised workers, not mentioned are subject to approval by the Minister responsible for Immigration and Labour and the Minister for Health;
Cabinet also decided that approval will be granted by the Minister of Health for emergency medical procedures while the following special categories of persons will be allowed to enter the Territory by application to the Ministers responsible for Immigration and Labour and Health with effect from Saturday, August 15:
- Dependent (spouses and children) of Belongers, Permanent Residents, work permit holders, work permit exemption holders;
- Persons employed by the Government of the Virgin Islands and its Statutory Bodies, Agencies and Boards; and teachers (public and private);
- Persons who departed the Territory for medical purposes and those who accompanied those persons; all other category of persons must apply from September 1.
Premier Fahie said, “We are not out of the woods with COVID-19. People are returning in phase one and two. We must continue to remain vigilant as we cannot leave any stone unturned with COVID-19. That is why the social distancing measures must apply and adherence to the health protocol is a must. This is our opportunity to test the strength of our system, our protocol, our preventative measures and our commitment to a healthy and safe Virgin Islands. If we all follow the rules, all will be well.”
Premier Fahie also indicated that beginning August 15, persons who choose to quarantine privately will have to aid in the costs relative to the process, while on October 1, all persons entering the Territory will have to aid with the costs of quarantine.
The Premier said the Government of the Virgin Islands will keep the Territory informed of its efforts to continue to combat COVID-19, and will continue to make adjustments, so that the people of the Virgin Islands will remain safe while it balances the economy starting with the rebooting and the revitalisation of the internal economy