British Virgin Islands Travel Alerts and Warnings

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For the latest travel warnings and alerts around the world, read about lockdowns and border restrictions.

Can you travel to BVI? Find out how COVID-19 restrictions may affect your plans to visit the British Virgin Islands.

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Beautiful coastline of the BVI Photo © Getty Images/cdwheatley

COVID-19 travel restrictions in the British Virgin Islands – updated 26 August, 2020

Borders remain closed to foreign travelers, and commercial flights are suspended.

Only returning Virgin Islanders, Belongers, Permanent Residents and Naturalised Citizens are permitted to enter via a controlled re-entry program. Anyone who wants to return needs to register online.

From 1 September, the second phase of reopening borders begins, allowing the entry of work permit holders with confirmed employment, work permit exempt holders, students, and other specified groups.

Arrivals will be quarantined for 14 days, and will undergo a minimum of two COVID-19 tests.

Wondering how your travel insurance might be affected by the COVID-19 outbreak? Find answers to some of our common questions about COVID-19.

Previous travel alerts for the BVI

Hurricane recovery – 17 October, 2017

Extensive damage was caused to the British Virgin Islands by Hurricane Irma on September 6, and the islands were then further impacted by Hurricanes Jose and Maria.

As of October 17, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) no longer advise against all but essential travel to the British Virgin Islands. The State of Emergency has been lifted, but a curfew remains in force from 10pm to 6am as large areas lack electricity. The Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Tortola has now reopened to commercial flights between 7:30am and 5:30pm. Most sea ports are now open and some ferry services have resumed operations. However, the BVI Tourist Board is discouraging tourists from visiting the Territory until November 1 to allow time for progress to be made on the recovery and cleanup efforts. Check for UKFCO updates here for the latest warnings and advice.

How to Survive a Hurricane

The absolutely best way to survive a hurricane is to avoid one. Get away from it, but if you make the decision to leave make that decision early. Do not leave it until the last minute because you may find yourself caught without proper shelter.

If you decide to stay and "ride it out" it is advisable to get to an authorized shelter. The locations of these will be broadcast, or locals will know where they are. If there is no shelter, prepare to "shelter in place" in an internal room without windows.

Once a "storm watch" has been issued, make sure you are prepared in the event that the watch becomes a "warning."

  • Fill the gas tank of your car.
  • Check batteries in flashlights and radios.
  • Have extra batteries on hand.
  • Secure all doors and windows.
  • Close shutters or board up the windows.
  • Have extra supplies on hand such as non-perishable food, clean drinking water, a half-gallon of water per person/per day (enough for a couple of days), and prescription drugs.

During the storm

  • Never go out during the storm. The winds can send flying debris into you causing injury and even death.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.
  • Keep on the alert for additional storm warnings. Hurricanes are known to spawn tornadoes so be prepared to take cover if one should strike.
  • While the storm is in progress avoid using electrical appliances.
  • Stay off the telephone.
  • All pets should be secure in carriers. The storm will be a frightening experience for them as well, and they could injure themselves or you if they panic.
  • Do not light candles or lanterns; they could get blown over causing a fire.
  • The eye of the storm passing over could make you think the storm is over when the worst is still yet to come. Only use this calm in an extreme emergency to make critical repairs.
  • Only after an official "all clear" has been issued is it safe to come out.

After the storm

  • Beware of downed power lines and gas leaks.
  • Stay away from heavily damaged areas.
  • Listen to your radio for instructions.

Hurricane Maria – 17 October, 2017

Hurricane warnings have been posted for the Northern Caribbean as yet another strong storm forms in the Atlantic. Hurricane Maria was rated as category 1 on September 17th, but is expected to gather strength as it moves westwards - followig the path of hurricane Irma. Many of the island nations battered by Irma and Jose days later are in the path of maria... including the BVI where it is expected to make landfall on Tuesday 19th or Wednesday 20th September, 2017.

Consequently the UK government has issued a warning advising against all travel to the vacation destiunation for the time being. Because of the damage caused by Irma, which may be exacerbated by Maria, this advice is likely to stay in effect for some time. Check for UKFCO updates here for the latest warnings and advice.

Hurricane Irma – 6 September, 2017

Now classified as a Category 5, Hurricane Irma made landfall Wednesday morning in the Eastern Caribbean. The storm is now heading towards Puerto Rico and threatening St. Kitts and Nevis, the Virgin Islands, Hispaniola, and Cuba. Keep an eye on local media for the latest updates.

Travel warnings have been issued for Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, and Nevis, Saba, St. Eustatius, and Sint Maarten, British Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra, Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the northern border with Haiti, Guadeloupe, Southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The United States has declared states of emergency in Florida, South Carolina, and Puerto Rico.

Aside from extremely strong winds, Hurricane Irma is likely to create a storm surge of 11 feet or more, and large, breaking waves. Heavy rains could cause life-threating flash floods and mudslides.

Be aware that now this is a named hurricane and emergencies have been declared in several places it may not be possible to purchase travel insurance to cover this event. To discuss your coverage please contact us at World Nomads

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