COVID-19 pandemic in the British Virgin Islands

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COVID-19 pandemic in the British Virgin Islands
British Virgin Islands in United Kingdom.svg
British Virgin Islands
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationBritish Virgin Islands
First outbreakWuhan, China
Arrival date25 March 2020
(2 years, 4 months and 3 weeks)
Confirmed cases7,131 [1]
Recovered6,888 [1]
63 [1]

The global viral pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was confirmed to have reached the British Overseas Territory of the British Virgin Islands in March 2020.


On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019.[2][3]

The case fatality ratio for COVID-19 has been much lower than SARS of 2003,[4][5] but the transmission has been significantly greater, with a significant total death toll.[6][4] From 19 March, Public Health England no longer classified COVID-19 as a "High consequence infectious disease".[5]



March 2020

On 25 March, the British Virgin Islands confirmed its first two cases of COVID-19. One of the patients was a 56-year-old male resident who travelled from Europe on 15 March. Patient B was a 32-year-old male resident who travelled recently from New York City and came into contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 on 8 March.[7]

April 2020

On 9 April, the British Virgin Islands announced a Territory-wide lockdown.

On 18 April, the first death from COVID-19 was recorded in the territory.[8] On 27 April, the Minister of Health Carvin Malone announced that the island would buy medical supplies from non-US sources after the US Customs seized $12,000 worth of COVID-19 medical supplies. The shipment had been released on 16 April.[9]

On 19 April, the Territory-wide 24 hour lockdown is extended by seven days.[10]

On 30 April, the Government announced a voucher scheme to provide food for needy families.[11]

May 2020

The WHO reportedly classified the BVI as having "sporadic" infections on 7 May.[12]

On 8 May, the Territory recorded its eighth infection - representing the "peak" of infections so far.[13]

On 26 May, Health Authorities announced that there are zero confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Territory.[14] However they warn that "the fight is not over".

July 2020

On 30 July the Government issued a further curfew order (the 25th of the year) further extending the curfew relating to COVID-19 until 13 August. The curfew is from midnight to 6am.[15]

August 2020

After a lengthy period during which the Territory was COVID-19 free, a ninth positive case was announced on 1 August.[16]

On 3 August the Government issued a directive barring work permit holders and work permit exempt persons from returning to the Territory indefinitely.[17]

On 14 August the Government ended the curfew which had been in place for five months.[18]

Two new cases were diagnosed on 17 August.[19]

A further nine new cases were diagnosed on 21 August, leading the Government to reimpose curfew restrictions.[20] The rise in infections was blamed by the Government on people re-entering the Territory illegally from the neighbouring U.S. Virgin Islands to evade mandatory quarantine restrictions.[21]

A further five new cases were announced on 25 August, and the Government reimposed a partial lockdown in the Territory on 26 August.[22] A further nine new cases were announced on 28 August, effectively trebling the total number of cases in just a few days.[23]

September 2020

The British Virgin Islands imposed territory-wide 1301-0500 daily curfew from 2–16 September. Only workers in essential and critical services are exempt from the curfew.[24] The curfew was extended to 1 October and included a ban on boats entering or leaving the territory without permission, confirmed cases stand at 71.[25]

October 2020

As no new cases had been reported and there were no active cases, businesses could re-open, including bars; however, a midnight to 5 am curfew continued until 22 October.[26]

November 2020

One new case taking total to 72 with the one death.


Like many countries, the British Virgin Islands imposed restrictions on movement of citizens, and limited international access into and out of the Territory, to try to control the spread of the virus.

The BVI initially imposed a three-day 24-hour lockdown from 8 pm on March 27 to 6 am on April 2.[27] This was then extended for a further period of two weeks from April 2,[28][29] and then it was further extended by an additional seven days,[30] ultimately ending on April 25 after thirty days.[31] That was replaced with a 17-hour curfew, and residents could only leave their homes from 6 am to 1 pm.

On May 10, the extensive curfew was replaced by a more moderated curfew from 7 pm to 6 am.[32] Two days before it expired, the curfew was extended until June 6.[33]

Public beaches were opened (subject to restrictions) on May 10.[34]

Borders were closed until June 2, but persons travelling to the Territory were required to spend 14 days in quarantine after arrival.[35]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "British Virgin Islands COVID - Coronavirus Statistics - Worldometer".
  2. ^ Elsevier. "Novel Coronavirus Information Center". Elsevier Connect. Archived from the original on 30 January 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  3. ^ Reynolds, Matt (4 March 2020). "What is coronavirus and how close is it to becoming a pandemic?". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Archived from the original on 5 March 2020. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Crunching the numbers for coronavirus". Imperial News. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  5. ^ a b "High consequence infectious diseases (HCID); Guidance and information about high consequence infectious diseases and their management in England". GOV.UK. Archived from the original on 3 March 2020. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
  6. ^ "World Federation Of Societies of Anaesthesiologists – Coronavirus". Archived from the original on 12 March 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  7. ^ "BVI confirms first two cases of coronavirus". BVI News. 25 March 2020. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  8. ^ "BVI Reports First Coronavirus Death; Extended Curfew Announced". VI Consortium. 18 April 2020.
  9. ^ "Gov't will seek COVID-19 medical supplies from non-US sources in the future". BVI News. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Batten Down As Lockdown Extended For 7 Days". BVI Platinum. 18 April 2020.
  11. ^ "Gov't reintroducing voucher programme to feed needy post-lockdown". BVI News. 30 April 2020.
  12. ^ "BVI classified as having 'sporadic' level of exposure to COVID-19". BVI News. 7 May 2020.
  13. ^ "BVI records eighth confirmed COVID-19 case". BVI News. 14 May 2020.
  14. ^ "BVI Is COVID-19 Free". BVI Platinum. 26 May 2020.
  15. ^ "Imposition of a Curfew (No. 25) Order, 2020" (PDF). Retrieved 3 August 2020.
  16. ^ "BVI records 9th positive COVID case". BVI News. 1 August 2020.
  17. ^ "Work permit holders, exemption holders barred from entering indefinitely". BVI News. 3 August 2020.
  18. ^ "BVI no longer under curfew!". BVI New. 14 August 2020.
  19. ^ "Two more test positive positive for COVID-19! Total recorded cases now at 11". BVI News. 17 August 2020.
  20. ^ "Nine new COVID cases detected between Anegada and Tortola! Curfew reinstated". BVI News. 21 August 2020.
  21. ^ "New Curfew Imposed On BVI After Reports Of New Covid-19 Cases". Government of the VI - Press Release. 21 August 2020.
  22. ^ "BVI now classified as having 'clusters' of COVID cases! Territory to enter partial lockdown". BVI News. 25 August 2020. Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  23. ^ "Nine new COVID-19 cases recorded! BVI now has 26 active cases". BVI News. 28 August 2020.
  24. ^ "COVID-19 Alert: British Virgin Islands Impose Territorywide Curfew Sept. 2-16", WorldAware,2 September 2020.
  25. ^ "BVI Implements New Curfew From 8 p.m. To 5 a.m. For The Next 7 Days". BVi Government. 23 September 2020.
  26. ^ "BVI Reports No Active Cases Of Covid-19; New Curfew Imposed". BVi Government. 7 October 2020.
  27. ^ "COVID Message from Governor Start of Curfew". BVI Government Press Office. 27 March 2020.
  28. ^ "Message By Premier Fahie - Covid 19 Curfew Update". BVI Government Press Office. 1 April 2020.
  29. ^ "COVID-19 Alert: British Virgin Islands Imposes 24-hour Curfew Through April 16". WorldAware. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  30. ^ "Extended curfew will run for 7 days! Residents can only access basic supplies via home deliveries". BVI News. 19 April 2020.
  31. ^ "Internal reopening of territory starts Monday - Curfew will be relaxed for 7 hours daily". BVI News. 24 April 2020.
  32. ^ "New 7pm to 6am curfew will start Sunday — Premier". BVI News. 5 May 2020.
  33. ^ "Curfew extended for another 14 days; longer beach hours coming". BVI News. 21 May 2020.
  34. ^ "Beaches to reopen for a limited time daily and under strict conditions". BVI News. 8 May 2020.
  35. ^ "Locals trapped abroad must fill out registration form for 'controlled re-entry'". BVI News. 22 May 2020.