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The British Virgin Islands (BVI) officially opened its tourism doors on Dec. 1, marking the first time international visitors could set foot on the archipelago, which encompasses some 60 islands and cays, since March.
However, if clients are planning to visit the Caribbean nation anytime soon, there are strict COVID-19 protocols — including taking no fewer than three COVID-19 tests and quarantining for at least four days in a hotel — that must be followed prior to and during their visit.
Here’s what to know before heading to the BVI.
Pre-Arrival ProceduresTo combat the spread of COVID-19, the BVI government is requiring that its visitors receive a negative COVID-19 test result within five days of their arrival in the islands, and also have proof of a travel insurance policy that includes comprehensive medical coverage.
Also required is the “BVI Gateway Traveler Authorization Certificate,” which clients must apply for within 48 hours of travel via the government’s website in addition to uploading the pre-arrival negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test result.
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Additional Testing and Contact Tracing EffortsAll international arrivals are routed through Beef Island’s Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport, where travelers are mandated to take an additional COVID-19 test and activate a contact tracing system app on their phone. (Note: The mobile tracing system must be activated through a wireless data plan or Wi-Fi, so it may be wise to recommend that clients set up an international data plan with their mobile provider.)
At this time, travelers will also be given a government-issued monitoring bracelet for additional contact tracing purposes, along with an appointment time for a third COVID-19 test to be administered at a pre-selected testing site after four days of quarantining at their accommodation. (And what if the day-of-arrival test comes back positive, you ask? Clients will be prohibited from leaving the BVI; rather, they must quarantine in their hotel for a minimum of 14 days). Additionally, only approved transportation companies can be used to travel between accommodations and testing sites.
Only once the third and final COVID-19 test comes back negative can visitors freely roam the BVI while continuing to practice safe social distancing.
Travel advisors and clients with questions about visiting the islands can reach the government’s Reopening Steering Committee by emailing [email protected] or via WhatsApp at 284-496-6129.
Note: Expenses related to the two COVID-19 tests, the government-issued wristband and the use of the mobile contact tracing app will come to approximately $175 and be covered by the visitor (BVI’s national currency is the U.S. dollar).
The DetailsThe British Virgin Islandswww.bvitourism.com