Governor John Rankin chaired a Cabinet meeting on Oct. 13 at the Financial Services Commission’s conference room. All members were present, and Cabinet took the following actions, according to a summary published in the Gazette on Oct. 22.
1. Reviewed and accepted the list of public holidays for 2022, and decided:
a. that proclamations be issued by the governor appointing the following: Virgin Islands Day to be observed on the first Monday in July ( July 4); and Heroes and Foreparents Day to be observed on the third Monday in October (Oct. 17);
b. that the governor issue a proclamation to bring the above into effect;
c. that the governor make an appointment in accordance with paragraph one of the Schedule to the Public Holidays Act in relation to the day appointed to observe the sovereign’s birthday;
d. that the governor issue a proclamation that in 2022 the following public holidays listed in the Schedule to the Public Holidays Act shall not be observed as public holidays and that the stated days be instead substituted: Territory Day, being the first day of July, to be substituted by Virgin Islands Day on Monday, July 4, 2022; Festival Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, being the first Monday through Wednesday in August, to be substituted by Emancipation Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on Aug. 1-3, 2022; St. Ursula’s Day, being Oct. 21, to be substituted by Heroes and Foreparents Day on Oct. 17, 2022; Commonwealth Day, being the second Monday in March, to be substituted by the Commemoration of the 1949 Great March and the Restoration of the Legislative Council holiday on Nov. 21; and
e. noted the list of public and common law holidays to be celebrated in the year 2022 where the above recommendations are accepted and agreed that the final and full list of public and common law holidays for 2022 listed below be published by Oct. 30, 2021, once the governor makes the aforementioned proclamations: New Year’s Day on Jan. 3 in lieu of Saturday, Jan. 1; the Anniversary of the Birth of H. Lavity Stoutt on March 7; Good Friday on April 15; Easter Monday on April 18; Whit Monday on June 6; the Sovereign’s Birthday on June 10; VI Day on July 4; Emancipation Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on Aug. 1-3; Heroes and Foreparents Day on Oct. 17; The Commemoration of the 1949 Great March and the Restoration of the Legislative Council holiday on Nov. 21; Boxing Day on Dec. 26; and Christmas Day on Dec. 27 in lieu of Sunday, Dec. 25.
2. Reviewed and approved the composition of a committee — to be chaired by the Premier’s Office and co-chaired by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture — to manage Heroes and Foreparents Day as follows: Premier’s Office permanent secretary or designate; ECYAFA Ministry PS or designate; two people nominated by the premier; Deputy Governor’s Office PS or designate; Ministry of Health and Social Development PS or designate; chief education officer or designate; director of culture or designate; chief information officer or designate; chief records management officer or designate; director of tourism or designate; director of VI Studies at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College or designate; a representative of the VI Youth Parliament; the poet laureate or designate; representatives from three civic organisations; and three sister islands representatives; and
b. decided that the committee establish criteria for the selection of national heroes and heroes and propose: a list of names to designate with that status and appropriate means for honouring national heroes and heroes.
3. Reviewed the 2019 Governor’s Office Annual Report and decided that it be laid on the table at the next convenient sitting of the House of Assembly.
4. Reviewed and approved the amendments to the “Cruise Protocol and Operation Plan” to allow for the following:
a. where the VI is the first port of entry, fully vaccinated passengers with a negative PCR or antigen Covid-19 test as stated in the Cruise Protocol and Operation Plan will be permitted free flow throughout the territory; and
b. where the VI is not the first port of entry, cruise lines that offer their fully vaccinated passengers and crew to rapid test within 24 hours of arrival will be permitted to move freely within the territory.
5. Noted the Situation Report Number 40 presented by the Health Emergency Operations Centre Unified Command and:
a. decided to remove the limit on gathering sizes, except that organisers and proprietors of events would be required to ensure that health and safety protocols are adhered to and that there is no more than one person per nine square feet at events, unless otherwise as approved by the Ministry of Health and Social Development;
b. decided that the Ministry of Health and Social Development instruct the Attorney General’s Chambers to amend Section Four of the Public Health (Covid-19 Control and Suppression Measures) (No. 4) Order (No. 5), 2021 for item (b) to take effect;
c. recommended to the National Security Council that the current curfew order be lifted with immediate effect;
d. considered that people be approved for travel to St. John on private or chartered vessels for the purposes of taking the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson vaccines on the following basis: They would be exempt from departure taxes, as well as portal fees and registration requirements upon return; they would be required to pay the $50 fee for the rapid test; they would be allowed no additional itinerary items on the St. John trip; they would not be required to quarantine upon return; and they would be required to register with the Ministry of Health and Social Development.
6. Approved “a number of ” non-belonger land holding licence applications.