BVI businesses to face fines for not enforcing social distancing

BVI businesses to face fines for not enforcing social distancing

Thursday, July 09, 2020

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TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands (CMC)— Premier Andrew Fahie says businesses in the territory could face fines and even closure if they fail to enforce the government's mandatory 'no mask, no service' and social distancing protocols to help prevent any potential spread of the coronavirus.

In a statement issued late Wednesday, Fahie said the Attorney General has been instructed to consider all relevant legislation for the purpose of enacting provisions to adhere to the social distancing measures.

He said these measures and protocols would include, but are not limited to the wearing of face masks/coverings by all individuals when in an indoor or outdoor public space, and maintaining a physical distance of at least six feet between individuals when in an indoor or outdoor public space.

The premier said all businesses must ensure these measures apply to both employees and visitors at their respective establishments.

He also disclosed that the Cabinetwill introduce a range of penalties for individuals and businesses who fail to comply.

For individuals and businesses who commit an offence for the first time, they will be given a warning.

For individuals who commit a second offence, they will be fined and educated. Any subsequent offence will automatically result in a fine, and failure to pay the fine would incur a 'further penalty'.

As for businesses, second-time offenders will be fined, given notice of closure, and be subjected to re-inspection as well as becoming educated on the importance of complying with the government-imposed measures.

Third-time offending businesses will be made to close their establishments, have their Environmental Health Certificate revoked, and a further penalty would apply.

“We will continue to meet as a Cabinet to move this territory forward in the best interest and benefit of the people of the Virgin Islands,” Fahie said.

There are no reported active cases of COVID-19 in the territory.

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