BVI to relax mask mandates and quarantine

TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands – Health Minister Carvin Malone says the government of this British Overseas territory will be making several amendments to the current COVID-19 regulations in the territory including the removal of the mask mandate in outdoor public spaces.

Speaking last week, Malone announced that the gathering limit of one person per nine square feet is no longer required and masks are no longer legally required to be worn outdoors in open spaces.

“Persons can continue to choose to do so for their own personal protection. Masks will only be required for indoor public spaces when within the three feet of persons not a part of your household or personal bubble,” the Health Minister said.

“Businesses can require masks in their own spaces for their own safety if they desire. Requirements for businesses to have hand hygiene readily available will continue. Persons who may have been exposed to cases of COVID-19 are not required to quarantine but are encouraged to wear a mask and avoid contact with vulnerable persons and seek to get tested for COVID-19 within the next 5-7 days,” Malone added.

He also announced that the government will be removing all quarantine requirements for passengers arriving in the territory.

The Health Minister also said a partially vaccinated or an unvaccinated visitor will present a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test within five days of arrival and a rapid test antigen test will be done once they arrive.

Malone said if the test returns negative then that person is free to roam the territory.

“Fully vaccinated persons must present a rapid antigen test within 48 hours and won’t test on arrival. Those without a test will do an antigen test on arrival within 48 hours and be released if negative. PCR tests are no longer required on entry, and it is replaced by an antigen test,” the Health Minister said.

Malone also added that for the time being, partially vaccinated and unvaccinated persons will still be required to use the territory’s travel portal but considerations are being made to lift that mandate. However, vaccinated travellers are exempt. (CMC)

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