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British Virgin Islands Public Holidays Review Draft

Source: British Virgin Islands Cabinet Office (BVI)
Posted: Thursday, October 1, 2020
Most recent follow-up news item: December 7, 2021

The British Virgin Islands Public Holidays Review Committee has issued a draft series of recommendations on "the continued future of holidays, in particular Commonwealth Day and St. Ursula’s Day" and has now asked for public feedback ("The Virgin Islands Public Holidays Committee has completed its report with recommendations for the future of public holiday celebrations in the Territory and is now seeking feedback from the public") in the coming week ("Kindly submit all comments by October 7").

The aforementioned Public Holidays Review Committee was appointed by the Deputy Governor of the British Virgin Islands, this past summer (2020-07-08), and was tasked with the review of the list of annual public holidays in the British Virgin Islands, and their method of calculation, "in particular Commonwealth Day and St. Ursula’s Day", basing themselves on the recommendations of a similar commission, whose 2001 report (2001-05-18) laid dormant for almost 20 years.

Most of the recommendations of the 2001 report were supported by the 2020 report, with the exception of recommendation 4 ("The Sovereign’s Birthday should be observed annually and celebrated on a Saturday in June but its holiday status should be removed.") for which the 2020 report states: "The Committee gave consideration to the recommendation and the general consensus was that while the Territory remains an Overseas Territory of the UK, the holiday should be retained.".

The 2020 report does diverge on recommendation 5A of the 2001 report, though it does not relate to the date or list of public holidays, but to which businesses are open on public holidays, with the 2020 Public Holidays Review Committee making the telling comment: "The Committee noted that if we say on the one hand that we want to have holidays but at the same time still want to carry on business as usual, it defeats the point of having a holiday.".

It is not clear if the implementations stemming from the 2020 British Virgin Islands Public Holidays Review Committee recommendations would be applied to the list of 2021 public holidays, which have not yet been released, and are usually released in October or November (2019-10-01, 2018-10-19, 2017-11-07, 2016-10-13, 2015-10-05, 2014-09-15, 2013-10-11, 2012-10-20 and 2011-09-23), which may explain the request for all comments to be in before October 7, 2020.

Links and References

Below are links to the news stories referred to in the above "British Virgin Islands Public Holidays Review Draft" news story, as well as links to subsequents news stories which refer to the present news story.