After completing their mandatory four-day quarantine period, travellers to the Virgin Islands must now wait an additional ten days before appearing at the Magistrates’ Court, Court Manager Annette Williams-Sylvester announced on Monday, when the new policy took effect.

Explaining the reason for the 14-day quarantine period, Ms. Williams-Sylvester pointed to the court’s increasing caseload following the reopening of borders to tourists on Dec. 1.

A potential outbreak could overwhelm the judiciary, which operates with a small staff and in tight quarters, and court officials were therefore prompted to take extra precautions, Ms. Williams-Sylvester explained.

“As the number of judicial officers and court staff are finite, we cannot risk our operations [being halted] as a result of exposure to Covid-19 due to the inherent risks of a shortened quarantine period,” she stated, adding, “Our premises are also small and the number of persons requiring access to justice daily continues to grow.”

People who have recently travelled and are scheduled to appear at the court within two weeks of their arrival should contact the court officer at 468-4360 or 468-4283, to either schedule a virtual hearing or get the matter adjourned to a later date, Ms. Williams-Sylvester stated.