Photo: BVI Information Service. At this airport would-be tourists will undergo intensive screening before being allowed to proceed to the immigration counter.

ROAD TOWN, BVI–October 27th, 2020–As the BVI Territory continues to prepare to reopen for tourists on December 1st, Premier and Minister of Finance, Andrew Fahie has revealed what may be the world’s toughest testing regime for airborne tourists to enter the territory.

In an address last night Fahie detailed numerous requirements that airline arrivals must meet to be allowed to enter the Territory.

The terms and conditions include periods of quarantine at approved accommodations, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing, medical travel insurance that includes COVID-19 coverage, subscription to a contact tracing system through their mobile phone, and in some cases using a wearable device, and bearing the costs associated with these measures.

The Premier added that travelers will need a BVI Gateway Traveler Authorization Certificate which will be obtained via an online portal, called BVI Gateway. The portal will be at bvigateway.bviaa.com and is projected to be live on Monday, November 2.

Prospective travelers will be required to register on the BVI Gateway portal, and upload their relevant documents. The application must be completed at least 48 hours prior to the intended flight.

Approved travelers must present their BVI Gateway Traveler Authorization Certificate along with their negative PCR test result at the check-in counter prior to boarding the flight into the Territory.

The Premier stated that the negative PCR test result should be obtained at least five days prior to travel. He said that it is important to note that if the PCR testing is positive, persons will be denied approval to travel to the BVI.

Premier Fahie further explained that on arrival, travelers will enter the welcoming center at the Terrance B. Lettsome Airport for screening before they are allowed to proceed through Immigration.

The Premier said, “The traveler will do a PCR test at the screening center, and we will ensure that the visitors have installed the contact tracing software on their mobile phones. After this, they would be directed to approved transportation which will take them to their approved accommodation.”

Fahie said as it relates to quarantine for the first four days, travelers would be required to remain within the compound of their accommodation and to avoid or minimize contact with others outside of their party, as well as to keep their movement to a minimum.

He added, “On the fourth day, the traveler would be required to take another PCR test. Once the result is negative, they would be allowed restricted movement to designated places. These would be locations that are not high-traffic or high-risk. These locations are being coordinated by Environmental Health and other Government agencies and the establishments will be notified.”

A final PCR test would be administered on Day 8 and once this test also returns negative, the traveler would be able to move within the Territory, without limitation.

The traveler would be required to have their mobile device at all times, with the tracing software active.

The entry of tourists into the Territory is the third phase of the British Virgin Islands controlled reentry process.

How many tourists will be willing to undergo such a draconian regime in exchange for a Virgin Islands resort experience remains to be seen, but at least the tourist determined to visit the British Virgin Islands will not be completely shut out this winter, and the BVI has shown great determination to protect its population from the killer disease, regardless of the potential loss of income to the tourism industry.