BVICCHA Encourages Premier to Set Phased Reopening Dates for Tourism Sector
On Monday, 15 June 2020, the BVICCHA’s Hospitality Committee, in partnership with the Tourist Board, hosted a Hospitality Industry Stakeholders meeting with over 150 stakeholders.
Out of this meeting came a few concerns from the industry: 1) Can the territory not have a phased reopening for the different micro sectors; 2) Can the industry get a definite phased reopening date so they can market and prepare accordingly; 3) Are there resources the Government may need that the private sector can assist with; and 4) What border management and protocols will be in place when reopening happens?
Based on the feedback of the attendees of the meeting, the Chamber wrote to the Premier and relevant parties, including the Minister of Health and Chief Medical Officer, concerning the following for a phased reopening of the Hospitality Sector:
Stage 1: Open self-contained resorts or properties and the Yachting Sectors who are by definition of their locality easily able to accommodate visitors that can self-quarantine under strict protocols from the week of 20 July 2020 to receive visitors. The Chamber recommends that conditions for reopening include a pre-health clearance where visitors will be asked to submit COVID-19 test results a minimum of 48 hours before arrival or to be tested on arrival and self-quarantine for the period here, up to 14 days. Adherence to all government health and safety protocols by the businesses would be required.
Stage 2: The Chamber recommended that the Virgin Islands reopen fully 1 September 2020 to facilitate those industry practitioners who have been receiving booking inquiries. Having a firm date would give the industry stakeholders the time needed to market and prepare their operations following Governmental protocols. It would also allow airlines to reinstate their routes. The Chamber proposed that visitors be required to submit a pre-health clearance where COVID-19 test results are submitted in advance of arrival and that the seaports in West End and Road Town be reopened to facilitate travel via the USVI.
The Chamber remains committed to ensuring that all businesses can operate in a responsible, clean, healthy, and safe manner.###
Keiyia J. George, Executive Director, BVICCHA
(284) 494-3514/345-3513 | firstname.lastname@example.org