After suffering a number of tragic deaths linked to the recent surge of COVID-19, the British Virgin Islands is slowly trying to return to normal life as the case rate reduces.
In the space of about a month, 37 persons succumbed to the disease, in the past few days the number of positive cases was down to around 150 compared to over a thousand just a few weeks ago.
The rapid spike had pushed the total of persons infected since the pandemic started last year from 350 to over 2,500 within weeks.
Most of them have since recovered.
The BVI government instituted a full-on vaccination drive in response to the outbreak along with strict protocols limiting public gatherings and an overnight curfew. The territory also observed a 21-day period of prayer and fasting coordinated by the government and churches.
Now Premier Andrew Fahie and Minister for Health and Social Development, Carvin Malone have announced that the curfew is being relaxed with schools, churches and businesses - except nightclubs and other entertainment venues which attract large crowds - now permitted to reopen.
The BVI has also set up a joint vaccination bubble with its neighbours, the United States Virgin Islands, for which residents are allowed to travel to the USVI to get their jabs.
“Vaccination remains a controversial topic in many countries and we are seeing people becoming very passionate ad even out of control,” Premier Fahie observed.
The Premier said while he recognises the right of people to voice their opinions, he urged them to do so “in a respectful and lawful way.”