TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands – Premier Andrew Fahie has announced that starting September 1, the territory will allow the entry of work permit holders and work permit exemption holders.
Fahie who made that announcement on Friday, said this is the second phase of government’s Restricted Border Re-opening Plan that is subject to a weekly review.
He stated that these categories of persons will be required to provide proof of valid employment; an employees’ certificate of earnings; valid COVID-19 operational certification; certificates of good standing from the Social Security Board, Inland Revenue, and National Health Insurance; as well as a valid trade licence, where applicable.
The Cabinet has also granted “exceptional approval” for teachers in the private and public sectors as well as persons employed by government and its statutory bodies.
They will be required to provide a valid permit to reside in the territory, an employment letter or contract, and a visa/visa waiver for persons travelling from countries requiring visa entry into the country.
Other categories of persons who will also be allowed re-entry under similarly strict conditions are “students of locally-based medical schools and H Lavity Stoutt Community College”, dependents (spouses and children), persons wishing to conduct business in the territory, and persons who have been granted permission to reside for a definite period (people who are permitted to reside but not seek employment and individuals with Land Holding Licenses).
According to the Premier, the Cabinet further decided that a “special category of persons” will be allowed in the territory for no longer than five days.
They are aviation crew, maritime crew, diplomats, healthcare practitioners, emergency maintenance/repair workers, and other technical personnel.
“Other essential specialised workers not mentioned are subject to approval [for entry] by the Minister responsible for Immigration & Labour and the Minister for Health,” the Premier said.
In addition, as of Saturday, dependents, persons employed to government agencies, as well as persons who departed the territory for medical purposes and those who accompanied them will be allowed to enter the territory by application to the Health and Immigration ministers.
“All other categories of persons must apply from September 1,” he added.
As it relates to quarantine requirements, Fahie said all qualified persons who may be required to quarantine in private accommodation upon re-entry “would be required to contribute toward the cost for 24-hour security and other administrative expenses of $3,500 per household; except for reasons such as medical or as otherwise exceptionally authorised by the Minister for Health”.
“Additionally, we decided that all qualified persons, regardless of immigration status, required to quarantine in government accommodation upon return to the territory, will be required to contribute towards the cost of quarantine as of 1st October,” Fahie added.
“We also decided that all qualified persons, except for Virgin Islanders, Belongers, Permanent Residents and Naturalised Citizens will contribute toward the costs for government quarantine accommodation, 24-hour security and meals in the amount of $2500, with effect from 1st October,” he said.