December 8th, 2020
According to an article in the BVI News, during a media briefing on the evening of December 7th, less than 12 hours before the seaports were due to open, Premier Andrew Fahie announced a delay in the reopening of the seaports until 1/21/21.
Visitors and residents who had, starting December 8th, planned to fly to St. Thomas (STT) and then take the public ferry to the BVI will now have switch their travel arrangements to arrive by air at Beef Island (EIS).
He said, “The next thing that Cabinet has decided today is that we have set a target date of 21st January 2021, for the reopening of the Road Town Ferry Terminal only to incoming international visitors until all performance objectives for the reopening are met. So that will give some time for us to make sure that all the measures and all the protocols and all the areas that need to improve in terms of the facility is completed,” he added.
The article goes on to say that several factors led to the decision including including the fact that there are still a number of flaws in the system at the airport and also that the Road Town Ferry Terminal was not yet up to the required standards for reopening in the COVID-19 era.
“When I announced the third phase of the reopening, I advised at that time that the December 1st reopening at the Terrance B Lettsome International Airport will allow us to gauge whether or not we could go ahead with the planned reopening for our seaports. Given the lessons learned from the first week from the reopening of our borders through the Terrance B Lettsome International Airport, we recognize that there is even more work to be done at seaports as we heighten and we increase our health and safety protocols through the port of entry,” Fahie stated.
The leader of government business also said there are plans to temporarily facilitate the affected tourists who would have had their trip to the BVI booked through ferry service from the neighbouring United States Virgin Islands.