Governor John Rankin chaired virtual Cabinet meetings held July 16 and July 28. All members were present except Attorney General Dawn Smith, who was on annual leave, according to a summary provided by the Cabinet Office and Gazetted Aug. 12. Many of the decisions related to the Covid-19 pandemic have been updated since the two Cabinet meetings.
On July 16, Cabinet took the following actions, the summary stated.
1. Noted the situation report presented by the Health Emergency Operations Centre and:
a. decided to advise the National Security Council to renew the curfew order for a further 14 days from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., effective July 23;
b. decided to renew the provisions of the Public Health (Covid-19 Control and Suppression Measures) (No. 4) Order, 2021, subject to the following decisions: i. that members of the public stay at home and work remotely, where possible, and should not loiter; ii. that between the non-curfew hours of 5:01 a.m. and 6:59 p.m., members of the public shall stay at home, unless for purposes of work or conducting business, obtaining services or supplies, including for the purpose of Covid-19 testing or vaccination, or approved outdoor exercise; and iii. that allowances be made for meals to be served in hotels’ and resorts’ dining areas to overnight guests only, provided that all prescribed public health measures are strictly observed;
c. decided that the Ministry of Health and Social Development instruct the Attorney General’s Chambers to draft the relevant amendments necessary to give effect to item b;
d. noted that funding to support the implementation of the territorial response to the Covid19 pandemic is provided from the Ministry of Health and Social Development Coronavirus Prevention budget;
e. decided that the sum of $500,000, previously allocated solely for the purpose of securing resources to address the surge in Covid-19 cases, be expanded for the purpose of securing resources, personnel, premises, and all needed material to immediately address the surge under the same monitoring regime outlined, where a team headed by the financial secretary, together with the Ministry of Health and Social Development, shall monitor and approve all expenditure prior to same being incurred; and
f. decided that in-person visits to and from Her Majesty’s Prison are restricted mandatorily for a further period of 14 days from July 20, with the exception of emergency situations determined by the facility to necessitate a visit, subject to the contrary advice from the attorney general.
During the July 28 meeting, Cabinet took the following actions, according to the summary.
1. Reviewed and accepted the 2020 Annual Report of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force and decided that it be laid on the table in the House of Assembly at the next convenient sitting.
2. Reviewed and approved the bill titled Virgin Islands Gaming and Betting Control (Amendment) Act, 2021, which seeks to amend various definitions in the principal act, to allow for online gaming and betting activities, and decided that it be introduced for its first reading in the House of Assembly at the next convenient sitting.
3. Reviewed and accepted the evaluation report submitted by the Central Tenders Board Technical Sub-Committee, which was approved by the CTB on July 28, and accepted the CTB’s recommendation to award the contract to Century Insurance Agency Ltd./Nagico Insurance Ltd. for insurance coverage up to $25,589,000 for the coverage of fire and extended perils, contractor’s all risk insurance, and public liability for the Ralph T. O’Neal Administration Complex in the amount of $238,185.00.
4. Approved “a number of” nonbelonger land holding licences.
This information was provided in a summary Gazetted Aug. 12.