Coronavirus: British Virgin Islands bans cruise ships for 30 days; postpones local festivals

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Coronavirus: British Virgin Islands bans cruise ships for 30 days; postpones local festivals
This cruise ship was spotted in the BVI on Friday, March 13, 2020.
This cruise ship was spotted in the BVI on Friday, March 13, 2020.

(BVI NEWS) — Effective Saturday, March 14, there will be no more cruise ships calling into to the British Virgin Islands for next 30 days.

In a public statement late Friday afternoon, Premier Andrew Fahie also said the upcoming Virgin Gorda Easter Festival as well as the BVI Spring Regatta will be postponed.

He said these are just some of the measures that his administration will be implementing to prevent the Coronavirus Disease 2019 from entering the shores of the British Virgin Islands.

He said these decisions came following a series of meetings with a wide cross-section of sectors, including the local business community.

“First, let me inform that on Friday 13th March, the Cabinet of the Virgin Islands convened a Special Meeting and endorsed the decision taken by your Government that effective Saturday, 14th March 2020 no cruise ships would be allowed to call on the territory of the Virgin Islands within a 30 day period , in the first instance.”

He said the decision was ‘unfortunate’ but necessary and the local authorities have communicated the ban to the cruise lines.

Premier Fahie continued: “Cabinet also agreed to the limiting of the number of international ports of entry in terms of passengers to three.”

He said the ports include the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport, the Road Town and West End Ferry terminals, and one cargo port of entry – Port Purcell, “subject to relevant Order or legislative amendment”.

“These measures are necessary to facilitate the effective screening of passengers,” he added.

With regards to the Virgin Gorda Easter Festival, the regatta, and other future mass gatherings; the Premier said events such as those will be be subject to review at a meeting of the National Emergency Operations Centre on Monday, March 16.

There have been approximately 145,244 coronavirus cases globally with 5,416 deaths and 70,921 persons recovering from the virus.

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