Foreign travel advice

British Virgin Islands

Summary

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) no longer advise against all but essential travel to the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

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

The State of Emergency has been lifted, but a curfew remains in force from 10pm to 6am as large areas lack electricity. There is widespread damage to infrastructure with a large proportion of homes and buildings very badly damaged. Some roads are impassable or the road surfaces have been washed away. As more stores reopen, access to medical supplies, food and water is returning to normal. Power supplies have been badly affected. Large areas of Tortola, other islands, and most homes, remain without power or water.

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. Communications have been damaged across the islands, including mobile phone networks and coverage remains patchy. The security situation remains stable.

The BVI Tourist Board is discouraging tourists from visiting the Territory until 1 November to allow time for progress to be made on the recovery and cleanup efforts.

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.