Persons being repatriated to the BVI who opt to quarantine at their private residence will be required to pay $6,048.
This was revealed to us by an outraged BVIslander who was given what he calls, an “exorbitant” quote by the Ministry of Health.
Upon investigation by our newsroom, Permanent Secretary at the MOH and head of the Health Emergency Operations center, Ms. Petrona Smith-Davies said “the cost to the Government is $6,048 for security on a 24-hour basis for the 2-week quarantine period. Individuals have offered to cover the cost of security services in order to quarantine in private accommodations.”
However, the resident must be able to substantiate the need for private quarantine which is subjected to the approval of Environmental Health.
Once the repatriation process began, persons were given the option to quarantine at home or at a Government facility. However, that decision was brought to a halt due to persons violating the mandated protocols. As a result, incoming residents are automatically assigned to a Government facility.
Ms. Smith-Davies stated that there are situations where Government may be able to facilitate the cost to quarantine persons at their private residence. She said “there are conditions that would allow persons to quarantine privately which include large families, multiple children, elderly or persons with medical needs that the government facility would pose a risk. For those persons, the Government will pay for the security at private accommodations.”
The BVIslander who contacted us and has opted to remain anonymous said “how is it that JVD residents were believed to be exposed to Covid, and then mandated to quarantine and testing for seven days (or fourteen days without testing), but then immediately released after most (not all) residents tested negative, whereas foreign nationals who are not known to have ever been exposed to Covid, and are even willing to provide Covid test results, are still required to quarantine possibly at their expense for fourteen days? We are the BVI not the NBA we can’t survive in a bubble!”
He is imploring Government to apply the same measures used for JVD residents for incoming nationals; administer a test prior to and upon arrival in the British Virgin Islands.
There are currently (31) persons in private accommodations and (91) in Government facilities. According to Ms. Smith-Davies “the figure changes as persons are tested and pending results would determine their release.”