Taxi operators to undergo regular vehicle inspection and sanitization following cruise passenger trips and will also have to undergo bi-weekly testing as part of the protocols to safeguard residents who utilise these services.

This is according to the Junior Minister for Tourism Sharie de Castro who said these recent stipulations were administered following concerns raised by parents of children who usually utilise taxi services.

She said following the outcry, the Taxi and Livery Commission along with the BVI Tourist Board and the Environmental Health Department, collaborated to launch this initiative as the solution to the raised concerns.

“This government is also mindful that our greatest resource is our people. A number of parents have expressed concerns with respect to the transportation segment as independent taxi operators are likely to provide service to cruise passengers and the public alike, especially our school children,” she stated.

 “Therefore, in order to ensure the greatest level of care and safety, the Taxi and Livery Commission in conjunction with the BVI Tourist Board and the Environmental Health Department will also be hosting a series of sanitization and disinfection customer service training, which would constitute as cruise certification for public transport operators. Also, operators are required to agree to bi-weekly testing, as well as other requirements stipulated by the BVI Tourist Board, which would deem them to be cruise certified,” she further explained.

Sanitization and Disinfection procedure explained

De Castro also said that there will be a check out system in place for all taxi operators who will be transporting tourists as a measure of extra precaution to protect residents in the territory.

She said, “To manage the safe reintegration of transportation into society after providing cruise passenger transport, public transport operators are expected to check out by stopping at the sanitization and disinfection station, managed by the Taxi and Livery Commission, and the Environmental Health Department.”

She added, “After the sanitization and disinfection requirements, the vehicles will be inspected, relevant information logged and public transport operators will be officially discharged. This has been implemented to address any health, and safety concerns particularly from parents.”

The junior minister said that these safety measures will be in addition to the existing COVID-19 public transportation guide.