Extensive damage was caused by Hurricane Irma on 6 September 2017, and the islands were then further impacted by Hurricanes Jose and Maria. There was widespread damage to infrastructure with a large proportion of homes and buildings very badly damaged. Good progress has been made and the Recovery and Development Agency Act has been passed, which paves the way for financing the long-term recovery.
Electricity has been restored on Tortola and its sister island of Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke to more than 99% of pre-hurricane network. Most roads are passable and work is ongoing to repair the remainder. The main port is fully functioning, the local shops are open and there are no restrictions on available food items. Peebles Hospital is fully functioning.
The Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Tortola is fully functioning and ferry services to sister islands and the US Virgin Islands have now resumed, although there is some disruption to scheduled services. Communications, including mobile phone networks, have largely been restored across the islands, but coverage remains patchy. The security situation remains stable and the police and magistrate’s court are fully functioning.
Tourism, particularly in the marine sector has bounced back and all beaches are open. Several hotels as well as bars and restaurants remain closed. Visitors should, however, be aware that recovery and clean-up efforts continue. Swimmers should be mindful that debris may remain on some beaches or in the sea, and should exercise caution.
Local authorities can provide further information and you should follow their advice. You can follow the Governor’s Office Facebook page and the Twitter account of the Governor @GusJaspert for updates on BVI.
The hurricane season usually runs from June to November and further storms could affect the Caribbean. The impact of these could be particularly severe in light of the damage already caused by Hurricane Irma. You’re advised to monitor updates from the US National Hurricane Centre and follow the advice of local authorities, including any evacuation orders, in the case of any further storms. See Natural Disasters
As the BVI is a British Overseas Territory, there is no formal British diplomatic representation and the local authorities deal with all requests for emergency assistance.
UK health authorities have classified the British Virgin Islands as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For more information and advice, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.
Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in the British Virgin Islands, attacks can’t be ruled out. See Terrorism
Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.