Good evening all,
Following my statement last night on the response of the Government to COVID-19, this morning I chaired a special meeting of Cabinet. Whilst I can reassure you that there is still no confirmed case in the Virgin Islands, in the face of the growing global threat of this new Coronavirus, the decision has been taken to implement a more aggressive measures in to protect the residents of the Territory. I would stress that these are all preventative measures and I would urge you all to remain calm and follow this
advice and to monitor updates carefully.
The Premier will set out specific measures that we are taking in his address shortly. These include travel to the Territory, protection of our borders and measures to protect vulnerable groups and locations, such as schools, homes for the elderly and the prison.
We are also actively considering the effective continuity of the Public Service, including the possibility of remote working. The Deputy Governor will be issuing guidance on the matter tomorrow. Continuity of our security and justice systems are also under consideration.
My key message is that we want to stay ahead of COVID-19 and we believe these measures help us to do that. The Government will take action at the national level, but safeguarding the Territory is a collective responsibility.
Remember that hygienic measures remain the best defence in protecting from the virus. This includes ensuring that shared spaces and work surfaces are cleaned and disinfected frequently, frequent handwashing and coughing into a tissue or elbow. Critically now, it is important to implement measures of social distancing. Details of this will be set out in our Government’s guidance and includes avoiding groups of people and limiting physical contact with others, including handshakes or physical greetings.
We continue to work diligently to ensure that adequate preparations are in place in the event that we have a confirmed case. I want to reiterate my thanks to all of our teams across the public service who are working so hard to protect the Territory. I remain confident in their abilities during this time. May God bless us as we face this challenge together.