Caribbean Journal recently learned that Moskito Island, billionaire Richard Branson’s private oasis in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), will launch this spring.
“Moskito Island’s reopening is one of several in the Gorda Sound corridor, which is seeing a major rejuvenation this year,” Clive McCoy, director of tourism at The British Virgin Islands Tourist Board & Film Commission, told CJ.
Located on 125-acres, just two miles from sister island, Necker, Moskito is currently home to the 11-room Branson Estate, which is the first of the estates to become available for rent.
But that’s just the beginning of what’s effectively a relaunch of the island as a broader destinastion.
Several additional luxury villa estates will be joining the Virgin Limited Edition portfolio throughout the year and beyond, alongside the nearby Necker Island, which Branson has owned for decades.
Accompanying the 10 individual luxury villa estates is a recreational area that includes a water sports center, a Beach House, an infinity pool and bar, a tennis pavilion and dining outlets.
“As travelers think about safe travel options, we’re pleased that Moskito Island, among others in the region, are now open to offer exquisite travel experiences within the British Virgin Islands,” said McCoy.
It was announced in early December that the British Virgin Islands reopened its borders to international travelers, exclusive to arrivals at Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport on Beef Island, with specific COVID-19 safety protocols in place.
Closed to visitors since March, the BVI Government has developed an extensive program to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the Territory.
Before landing in the BVI, it is mandatory that all guests have a certified negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test result from within five days of arrival, as well as proof of travel insurance that includes comprehensive medical coverage.
In addition, all travelers must apply for a “BVI Gateway Traveler Authorization Certificate” within five days of travel to the BVI and must complete the application at least 48 hours prior to arrival with the uploading of the PCR COVID-19 test result.
Applications can be found at www.bvigateway.bviaa.com.
Upon arriving at the airport, travelers will be directed to the BVI’s new “Welcome Centre” for an additional RT-PCR test.
All guests are required to activate a contact tracing system on their phones, which require either data or WiFi connectivity, and wear a government-issued wristband monitoring device, in addition to being given an appointment for their day four RT-PCR test.
All arriving visitors are required to quarantine for four days at their hotel, resort, villa or docked vessel (for charter guests), with another RT-PCR test administered on the fourth day.
If negative, guests will be allowed to move around the BVI freely while still following the government’s current social distancing and safety measures. Anyone who tests positive upon arrival must continue to quarantine at their respective location for a minimum of 14 days.