Photo: David Stanley/Flickr. The right medicine for the tourist industry? The Soggy Dollar Bar on White Bay Beach, Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands, Eastern Caribbean, serves a coconut, pineapple, and orange juice concoction known as a "Painkiller".

Road Town, British Virgin Islands–Minister for Health and Social Development Carvin Malone has reported that the total active COVID-19 cases in the Territory are now down to 28 since his last update on September 10 and that curfew restrictions on many businesses will be relaxed a little.

This was announced in a press release that was issued in both English and Spanish, presumably in an effort to reach Spanish-language media and Spanish-speaking residents.

Malone explained that the September 11th report included a total of 34 additional persons tested; which resulted in 32 negatives that included the seven recoveries and the two  new positive results. This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases recorded in the Territory to 66, the total active COVID-19 cases to 28, the total number of recoveries to 37 and the total number of deaths being just one person.

Additionally, Malone stated that the Cabinet of the Virgin Islands met and advised that the Curfew Order be amended to allow all businesses to operate as of September 12 between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. daily, with the exception of salons, hairdressers, barber shops, restaurants for in-service dining, bars, night clubs and pubs.

Those businesses are to remain closed until further notice.

All other businesses allowed to operate will be subject to inspection by the Social Distancing Monitoring Task Force and certification by the Environmental Health Division.

“Although we are still on curfew, I want to again thank the public for their cooperation and assure them that the Government is doing all that it can to make the best decisions with everyone’s best health and interest in regard,” said Malone in a statement that appeared to indicate that the dire warnings issued by Premier Fahie less than two weeks ago had the desired effect in changing behaviors.

Fahie had said on September 2nd: “If persons fail to adhere to all the further measures being put in place now to contain COVID-19, then, and only then, we will be forced to implement a 24-hour 14-day lock down, so my people the choice is yours, the choice is mines.”

The BVI has also recently put into place a volunteer task force to report Covid-19 precaution infractions in addition to the immigration task force that is combatting illegal immigration and people-trafficking in the area.

Members of the public are also being urged to continue to report any suspicious activity by dialing 311 and to adhere to all safety measures such as hand hygiene, cough etiquette, wearing face masks in public, physical distancing and minimizing social gatherings.

Persons who are experiencing any symptoms related to COVID-19 are reminded not to go to a doctor’s office or clinic, but they should call the Medical Hotline at 852-7650 for an assessment and an appointment for COVID-19 testing. Common symptoms include fever, cough, headache, fatigue, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, muscle aches, or difficulty breathing.

The Cabinet of the Virgin Islands will meet on September 15 to further review safety measures and protocols implemented to suppress the spread of COVID-19 in the Territory.

Premier Andrew Fahie took part in online meetings organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)with other regional leaders last week on Thursday, 10th September. Outcomes or new initiatives from that meeting do not appear to have been published, but it is likely that some common strategies for reopening tourism industries will have been discussed.