Travel is no longer as risky as it once was, particularly for those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. As a result, countries all over the world are getting ready to ease travel restrictions for vaccinated travelers. The British Virgin Islands have had one of the strictest sets of travel protocols and procedures for visitors but it looks like they’re planning on relaxing those restrictions in the coming weeks.
The islands have been wildly effective in preventing the spread of the disease with only 194 total cases and just one death since the start of the pandemic.
British Virgin Islands Travel Restrictions
If you’ve been to the British Virgin Islands in the past year, you know firsthand the number of hoops travelers need to jump through to access the islands. First, a negative COVID-19 test is required prior to travel. There’s also a registration form with an accompanying $175 fee. Once you get to the islands, guests are required to wear a tracking device and get tested twice in the first week after arrival. If all your tests are negative and you complete the mandatory quarantine, then you’re able to get out and explore all the islands have to offer.
Thankfully there is a new plan in the works set to go into effect on May 15 that makes traveling to the British Virgin Islands a little easier. The new plan to relax those restrictions does have a catch: you have to be completely vaccinated. That means both doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered at least two weeks prior to travel.
Relaxed Travel Restrictions to BVI
Starting on May 15, those with proof of vaccination can skip the mandatory quarantine and subsequent tracking device, but you still need to get a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 5 days prior to travel. You will also need to retest upon arrival in the islands and will be required to quarantine until the results of that test are known.
The relaxed travel restrictions are welcome news for those doing some Caribbean island hopping. Anyone fully vaccinated who has spent 2 weeks in the British Virgin Islands will not be required to quarantine after taking day trips to the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Martin or Puerto Rico. Those visiting any other islands will require a negative PCR test.
Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Carvin Malone explained that even though vaccines are an important step in beating the disease, there is still risk and his islands will continue to operate with the utmost care when it comes to protecting citizens.
“These vaccines are shown to be effective in preventing severe COVID-19 symptoms and deaths. They also reduce transmission of the disease in settings where vaccination rates are high. However, these vaccines do not eliminate the risk of transmitting the virus from a vaccinated person to a non-vaccinated person. This is why we have been encouraging everyone to get vaccinated while the vaccines are freely available, to protect both themselves and the people around them from the increasing risk of severe sickness and death,” he said.
Are you planning to travel to the British Virgin Islands? Let us know in the comments below!