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 BVIslanders and visitors, and adherence to protocols demonstrate the Territories willingness to live with Covid while do everything to mitigate unnecessary risks.
All CYS crew have been fully vaccinated. 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 application of specific protocols vary depending on whether individuals are vaccinated fully, partially or not at all.
A person is deemed to be fully vaccinated two weeks after they have received both doses of a two-dose vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca), or one shot of a single-dose vaccine such as Johnson & Johnson. In general, all vaccines recognized by WHO are honoured in the BVI.
Vaccinated Travellers, Including Families
Fully vaccinated travellers will be subject to an entry rapid antigen test. Unvaccinated children (5-17) with fully vaccinated parents/guardians:
- undergo a RT-PCR test upon arrival
- must remain with parents whilst awaiting test results
Partially-vaccinated travellers are those who have received only one of two scheduled doses. In addition to their arrival COVID test (Day 0), a second PCR Test will be administered at a location chosen according to the guests' sailing itinerary. Your crew will take care of all the logistics! When negative results are received for all members of your charter party (expected on Day 5), you will be free to go ashore and visit developed areas.
Unvaccinated Adult Travellers
Unvaccinated travellers can expect an RT-PCR COVID test upon arrival (Day 0). Quarantine for unvaccinated travellers is 7 days. A second RT-PCR test is administered at a location chosen according to the guests' sailing itinerary. Your crew will take care of all the logistics! Upon receipt of negative test results travellers are free to mingle in the community. In a group of mixed travellers with some vaccinated and others not, the group is limited to the restrictions of the unvaccinated guests. NOTE: Day 7 test results are not returned until Day 8. Departing the BVI cannot take place until those results are in hand.
Returning to the USA
COVID testing requirements vary depending on your travel route. Share your itinerary with your crew and they will advise you of your options. Tests for onward travel are available in the BVI (price varies from $70 to $125). In some instances guests can self administer tests See below under Travelling Home for more details.
If in doubt...
You can refer to the BVI Government COVID-19 Entry Regulations updated on June 14th.
Yes, effective October 1st, BVI sea borders are open.
Passenger ferries are entering daily. They are limited to carrying 65 passengers. Starting October 15, there are two ferries scheduled daily.
Water taxis provide quick and efficient transport for guests desiring to enter in and out of BVI waters. Those companies include but are not limited to: Island Time Water Taxi, Chillout Charters BVI and Johnny's Maritime Services.
Fully vaccinated international travellers can now enter by private or charter boat. Ports of entry include: Soper's Hole West End and Road Town. Soon to come : Dog Hole, Jost Van Dyke and St Thomas Bay Dock, Virgin Gorda. All other travellers must be received at the Road Town Ferry Terminal.
Whilst there is no need to seek approval through the Gateway Portal, fully vaccinated travellers (and crew) must pre-register on the Hummingbird Portal; a health portal which facilitates the booking of a rapid antigen test upon arrival. Crew/guests should register just ahead of arrival to the port. There is a fee of $50 paid at the port.
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.
If your party is fully vaccinated, you are free to go to any anchorage.
if your party is partially vaccinated, not vaccinated or you have a mixed group you must stay at one of the quarantine anchorages between Norman and Cooper Island for your first night. After night one, there are plenty of other quarantine anchorages from which to choose. These anchorages are, in no way, inferior to any others. They are popular anchorages which have been carefully selected.
Please refer to map of anchorages
The most recent curfew in the BVI is 1 am to 5 am. It should not in anyway restrict your movement on the water in the BVI.
Absolutely. It is perfectly acceptable to pick up guests at Trellis Bay.
Whether arriving by air or sea, fully vaccinated travellers do not need to seek approval from the Gateway Portal. If minors are travelling with vaccinated adults, they also are exempt from having to obtain approval.
All other travellers should begin BVI Gate registration up to 1 week in advance of travel. It MUST be started at least 48 hours in advance of arrival and completed no less than 24 hours ahead of arrival. If one starts the process prior to getting PCR test results a link will later be sent prompting you to upload the results. Pre-arrival RT-PCR tests must be taken within 5 days of arrival in the BVI. You should have a hard copy of your Approval Certificate for presentation upon arrival.
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).
Visitors who fly to the USA via PR must produce a negative COVID test taken within 3 days of departure.
Crews will choose a testing site which is the best fit for the charter guests’ itinerary. Departure tests can cost bestween $70 and $125 per person.
Alternatively, guests can self administer a BinaxNow test which is observed online by a professional. Available online: Home Test Kit . For overseas travel the ONLY acceptable version is the 6 pack linked above, priced at $150 / pack. Each person using the test must download a Navica App and create an account BEFORE they leave the US.
Itinerary & Activities Questions
No. Yachts are permitted free movement between quarantine anchorages.
And, if the party is fully vaccinated, there are no limits to where the yacht can go.
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.
The rapid antigen test administered to fully vaccinated travellers typically takes 20 minutes before results are produced.
The RT-PCR test results are sent by email the following day.
Guests can undergo Day 4 and Day 7 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 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 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:Reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance at Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour. Refer to this attached flier for more information for using that site.
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.
Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour Testing Protocols: VGYH Testing
Testing sites and where to go plus phone numbers:: Testing Site Information
About the exclusion zone: : Exclusion Zone Flier
June Ferry Schedule: June 21 to 27 Ferry Schedule
Covid 19 Regulations for Entry of Persons 14th June: Updated Entry Regulations
June updated Travel Requirements Effective June 15th
Entry protocols for Small Vessels whether commercial or private:Small Vessel Entry Protocols