More Caribbean Islands Reopen to Visitors

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) will reopen its borders to international visitors beginning December 1, premier and minister of finance Andrew A. Fahie said Monday, under a phased plan launched earlier, designed to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

The territory is among several Caribbean destinations that continue to reopen borders to international visitors and adjust internal health and safety protocols as they seek to restart critical tourism activity following the COVID-19 outbreak.

Although Fahie said the territory will “reopen in the safest way possible using science and technology as a guide,” he did not outline details of health and safety protocols the territory will require of international visitors. Fahie made the announcement during a “BVILOVE” tourism campaign event, said officials in a statement.

Instead, Fahie said BVI officials are “vigorously preparing for the re-opening of the Territory to welcome back tourists among others.” He added, “The territory has two full months to prepare and we as a people must get it right and we must get it done by all working together, both the government and the private sector.”

Groups including BVI citizens and permanent residents were permitted to return to the territory on June 2 and under the first phase of the reopening plan. On September 1, work permit holders; retirees, homeowners, students and others with residency permits could return.

Elsewhere in the Caribbean, Stint Maarten this past week relaxed entry requirements, widening the window during which proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test must be submitted from three to five days. The dual-nation territory also reopened the border between the Dutch and French sides of the island, which had been closed to visitors since September 1.

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