BVI impose travel ban on Dominican Republic due to surge in COVID-19 cases

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The government of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), will as of Monday, be implementing a ban on all tourist-related travels from the Dominican Republic.

Health Minister Carvin Malone in a statement on Friday said the decision was made due to the “alarming COVID-19 statistics” coming out of the Spanish-speaking country.

The Dominican Republic has more than 40,000 cases and reports of new cases are continuously increasing.

“Cabinet has also decided that in light of concerning information and of the prevalence of increasing cases of COVID-19 in the Dominican Republic — to implement a travel ban effective Monday, 11th January, 2021 of persons travelling from the Dominican Republic to the British Virgin Islands, except for Nationals, Belongers, Residents, work permit holders, persons permitted to reside in the territory, diplomats and persons employed by government and statutory agencies.”

Minister Malone also announced new COVID-19 measures that must be adhered from all people travelling into the territory from the Dominican Republic and the United Kingdom.

“It was decided that effective immediately, all persons approved to travel to the BVI originating or transiting through the Dominican Republic or the United Kingdom are required to provide a five-day rt-PCR negative test prior to entry and must undergo a mandatory 14-days quarantine and a testing regimen on the day of entry; on day seven and finally on day 14 when in the territory,” Malone explained.

Just last week, the BVI government announced a travel ban on people travelling from the United Kingdom into the territory, after reports of a new COVID strain within that country.

Since then, the new strain of the virus has been reported in the Caribbean region, affecting Jamaica where four cases of the virus have been detected.

Meanwhile, countries such as Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados are awaiting COVID results from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) to determine if any of the most recent cases are the new strain of the virus.

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