British Virgin Islands Impose Dominican Republic Travel Ban Amidst Surge of COVID-19 Cases

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On Monday, the government of the British Virgin Islands implemented a ban on all travel from the Dominican Republic amidst a large and steadily increasing amount of COVID-19 cases.

Monday also marked the Dominican Republic’s 5th straight day of registering over 1,000 new cases, Dominican Today reports.

BVI Health Minister Carvin Malone released a statement explaining the details of the ban. “Cabinet has also decided that in light of concerning information and of the prevalence of increasing cases of COVID-19 in the Dominican Republic — to implement a travel ban effective Monday, 11th January 2021, on persons traveling from the Dominican Republic to the British Virgin Islands, except for Nationals, Belongers, Residents, work permit holders, persons permitted to reside in the territory, diplomats and persons employed by government and statutory agencies,” he said.

COVID-19 measures were also placed on those entering the BVI from the United Kingdom in light of the discovery of the virus’ variant in the country.

“It was decided that effective immediately, all persons approved to travel to the BVI originating through the Dominican Republic or the United Kingdom are required to provide a five-day PCR negative test prior to entry and must undergo a mandatory 14-days quarantine and a testing regimen on the day of entry; on day 7 and finally on day 14 when in the territory,” he added.

In the Caribbean, Jamaica was the only country to report cases of the new strain of the virus. Others are still awaiting results from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), CNW Network reports.

The rising number of COVID cases in the Dominican Republic also led the country’s government to declare a state of emergency, resulting in the imposition of a nationwide curfew from 5pm to 5am on weekdays, and from 12pm to 5am on weekends. The curfew is expected to remain in effect until January 26, 2021.

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