BVI Covid Protocol FAQ
Because of its isolated island nature and relatively small population, the BVI managed to maintain a zero infection rate for most of the pandemic. The BVI Government acknowledges it must balance a limited health infrastructure with the need to restart the tourism economy. The re-opening has focused on risk mitigation to all BV Islanders and visitors, and adherence to protocols demonstrate the Territories willingness to live with Covid while do everything to mitigate unnecessary risks.
The BVI remains at a Level 1 according to CDC, and remains one of the safest places to visit in the world. In fact, the BVI currently has 0 Covid cases and most of its crews have had their first vaccine dose. The greatest risk posed to visitors to the BVI is traveling to/from the islands, transiting countries and airports with less stringent protocols. Adherence to social distancing and mask wearing requirements should sufficiently mitigate any risks to travellers destined for the BVI.
The BVI is open to responsible travelers. The BVI protocols for public spaces will not surprise or impact anyone who is used to following CDC or WHO guidelines at home. Compliance with social distancing measures, mask wearing in confined spaces, and availability and use of hand sanitizing stations is some of the highest in the world.
The two PCR tests on Day 0 and Day 4 are designed to identify Covid cases before it has the ability to spread to the community. While this has generally worked very well, there have been instances of a person testing positive after receiving negative results on Day 0 and Day 4. The BVI Government has so far tolerated this level of risk.
Ports Authority have announced the re-opening of the sea borders April 15th. Most likely, it will be for passenger carrying ferries to/from Road Town.
Since December 1, the BVI has prioritized entry of BVI-based charter vessels, which have returned following the 2020 hurricane season and are operating.
We recommend following the BVI Ports Authority facebook page to stay current with the sea border news.
FAQ for Crews / Brokers
We believe it’s important to reach out to the client 2-3 months in advance, to provide information about protocols, travel logistics guidance, and to provide first-hand experience of charters completed to date. There is a slew of misguided advice and misinformation available on the internet, namely facebook, that does not reflect current conditions and protocols in the BVI. This is why communication between crew and guest, well in advance of the BVI charter, ensures a successful experience.
You must stay at one of the quarantine anchorages between Norman and Cooper Island for your first night.
Please refer to map of anchorages
As of March 11th, a narrow marine corridor has been created to enable boats to transit to "Jost Van Dyke from Nanny Cay along the southern coastline around Frenchman's Cay and around the point onto Steel Point". One does not require permission to use the marine corridor.
Outside of the corridor the exclusion zone remains in place and one requires permission to transit it. Refer to the flyer for details.
The on-the-water curfew is 10 pm to 5 am. This should not interfere with any activities planned on a crewed charter yacht.
Yes. We suggest departing as soon as reasonably possible (following requisite safety briefings, etc.) and plan to end Day 0 at one of the quarantine anchorages between Norman and Cooper.
Begin your BVI Gate registration up to 1 week in advance, however note that the earliest you can take your Pre-Arrival PCR test is 5 days before arrival in the BVI. You MUST start the application at least 48hrs in advance of arrival, and complete it no less than 24hrs prior to arrival. You do not need to have your negative pre-arrival test results in hand to start the application as you will be asked to upload it at a later date.
Your crew will be able to answer questions and get in touch with key individuals to enable you to upload results when they are available.
Anyone transiting the USVI en route to the BVI must also fill out the USVI Travel Portal. The entry requirements and pre-arrival testing requirements are similar to the BVI, so your negative RT-PCR test used for the BVI will suffice for the USVI.
Anyone transiting Puerto Rico en route to the BVI must complete the PR Travel Portal. Puerto Rico authorities check for negative Covid test results as you leave the airport. Therefore, if you are simply making a connection in Puerto Rico, you will not need to show your negative test result. If you are overnighting in Puerto Rico or have other reason to leave the airport, you must have a negative RT-PCR test result within 3 days of arriving in Puerto Rico (more stringent than BVI).
Itinerary & Activities Questions
No. Yachts are permitted free movement between quarantine anchorages.
The list of quarantine anchorages was developed by members of the yachting community, respecting the governments wishes that there must be no developments ashore. The anchorages tend to be more off-the-beaten-track for bareboats, but not for professionally run crewed yachts. A few of the anchorages are exposed to ground swell and may become untenable in heavy weather, however all have alternatives nearby.
For the quarantine period, itineraries tend to focus on water activities (swimming, snorkelling, paddleboarding, kayaking, wakeboarding, etc.) in the well protected bays between Norman, Peter, Cooper and Virgin Gorda. Once released from quarantine, itineraries tend to focus on shoreside activities, such as exploring Anegada, Jost van Dyke beach bars, and restaurants and The Baths on Virgin Gorda. On a typical weeklong charter, it may not be possible to do The Baths, Anegada, and Jost van Dyke unless you are on a motor yacht.
Crewed yacht charters are particularly well positioned to host guests on a quarantine itinerary because crewed yachts tend to be all-inclusive and self-sufficient, and do not rely on shoreside support such as bars, restaurants, marinas, etc.
No. These locations are not located in a quarantine anchorage. You may visit any National Park once you have been released from quarantine.
Guests to date have enjoyed all forms of water activities including snorkelling, swimming, paddleboarding, kayaking, waterskiing, wakeboarding, tubing, and halyard flying. In short, activities are not being limited provided they follow the intent of the government quarantine regulations.
Guests are also allowed to visit shore / beaches in quarantine anchorages provided they practice social distancing from groups outside their travel bubble. The exception is that shore visits are not permitted at Deadman’s Bay, Great Harbor and Little Harbor on Peter Island.
Generally, No. While there are many types of devices in use, nearly all are waterproof (but not rated for scuba diving). The tracking devices should be taken with guests while off the boat (for instance, strapped to the paddleboard while out, worn while snorkelling, or placed in the tender while doing watersports).
Questions on PCR Testing
The arrivals process is quite well-organized and streamlined. Some visitors have had quicker-than-usual arrivals, others have had about an hour added to their overall journey.
Guests can now undergo Day 4 testing at two locations, Nanny Cay Marina or Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour.
Nanny Cay Marina: Arrive on the M Dock at the Outer Marina as early as possible. Guests are sent via taxi on a first come, first served basis to the Road Town Peebles Hospital. The taxi waits for them at the clinic, then returns them to Nanny Cay. This journey has typically taken 50-75 min roundtrip.
You may call your own taxi to take guests to the clinic, however you must pay for the taxi.
You can buy ice, dispose of trash, receive deliveries, and take on water or fuel while you are waiting for your guests Day 4 test.
Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour:
Generally results have been available between 9:30am and 3:30pm, however guests most often receive their release certificate in the late morning.
The BVI Government insists on the RT-PCR test because it is the most reliable type of testing. Of course, false positives do happen, but it is least likely with this type of test.
In the event a false positive is suspected, a follow-up test could be arranged.