Aerial view of White Bay, Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands. (photo via cdwheatley / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
In the final step toward a return to normal, the British Virgin Islands will no longer require visitors to present a negative COVID-19 test result to gain entry, effective Friday, July 15.
The Ministry of Health & Social Development confirmed that the Cabinet of the Virgin Islands passed an amendment to the COVID-19 Control and Suppression (Entry of Persons) Regulation on Wednesday that revokes COVID-19 testing requirements.
Previously, all travelers over age five, regardless of vaccination status, were required to present proof of a negative rapid antigen or PCR test taken 48 hours prior to arrival or present a document issued by a licensed medical professional certifying COVID-19 recovery within 90 days prior to arrival.
This move to ease protocols comes as the virus’ overall impact on the islands has been dramatically reduced. The territory reported 190 new cases over the two-week period from June 30 to July 13.
“Currently the statistics are revealing that the virus is having a very minimal impact on those affected and the mortality rates have decreased significantly. That is why we feel at this stage we can re-open the borders and return to pre-COVID normal with regards to travel to the territory,” Minister for Health and Social Development Marlon Penn said in a statement.
Penn reminds locals and visitors alike to continue to practice good hand hygiene and wear a mask when in questionable environments in an effort to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
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