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DO-OVER: Tourism Officials Gearing Up For The Return Of International Travelers To Territory This Weekend

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The Virgin Islands will re-open its borders to international travelers beginning on Saturday, Tourism officials said on their website today.

Territorial officials began allowing hotels and accommodation providers to accept new leisure travel reservations on September 12.

The reopening comes nearly one month after the government closed the USVI’s borders to international visitors on August 17 as COVID-19 rates skyrocketed that month. U.S. Virgin Islands officials had originally reopened the country’s borders to visitors in June.

TOURISM SAID: “We’re so happy to have leisure travelers back in the USVI from this Saturday, September 19! Remember to visit www.usviupdate.com for the latest travel updates and advisories.” #TravelTuesday #USVIAwaits #HappinessAwaits #FunAwaits

Under the new policy, all travelers to the territory arriving on or after September 19 will be required to upload proof of a negative COVID-19 test result via an online portal designed to pre-screen visitors for coronavirus prior to arrival.

Visitors from U.S. states with COVID-19 positivity rates of more than 10 percent who arrive on or before September 18 will also be required to upload proof of a negative COVID-19 test result. Travelers who have spent more than seven days in or are traveling from a highly impacted state will also be required to upload a negative test result if they arrive in the U.S. Virgin Islands on or before September 18.

Travelers who arrive without proof of a negative COVID-19 test result will be subject to mandatory self-quarantine for 14 days, from the time of entry into the territory or the duration of the traveler’s stay, whichever is shorter.

Persons ordered to self-quarantine will be escorted directly from the airport to a Virgin Islands Department of Health-designated quarantine location and will be responsible for all associated costs, including transportation, lodging, food and medical care.

All travelers will be subject to COVID-19 enhanced screening procedures including temperature checks upon arrival in the territory. Travelers who have not received certification from the USVI Travel Screening Portal will be required to complete a COVID-19 Traveler Screening Questionnaire.

Visitors with temperature readings below 100.4°F who have received certification via the online portal or who also answer “no” to all questions on the COVID-19 Traveler Screening Questionnaire will be free to leave the airport and proceed with their visit.

Travelers with readings above 100.4°F will be escorted by the Virgin Islands Department of Health (VIDOH) and/or the Virgin Islands National Guard for purposes of quarantine and a second temperature screening. After a 10-minute break, health personnel will retake the passenger’s temperature.

Visitors whose temperatures remain at 100.4°F or above and/or have answered “yes” to any of the questions, will be subject to self-quarantine at the VIDOH’s designated quarantine location.

COVID-19 Requirements

If you are arriving on or before September 18, 2020, you will be required to upload a COVID-19 test result if you are 15 years of age or older and your state or country of residence has a COVID-19 positivity rate of greater than 10 percent or you have to spent more than 7 days in and are traveling from highly impacted state or country. Positivity rates are according to data and analysis from Johns Hopkins University.

  • You should only complete the Travel Screening Portal within five days of travel.
  • If you are traveling within 24 hours, please complete the form manually
  • (usviupdate.com/travel-form). Upon arrival, you must produce the completed form, as well as your test result
  • Effective September 19, 2020, every traveler aged five and older who enters the U.S. Virgin Islands is required to produce a COVID-19 test result obtained within five days of commencement of travel to the Territory
  • Travelers unable to produce the required test result will be subject to mandatory self-quarantine for 14 days, from the time of entry into the Territory or the duration of the person’s stay in the Territory, whichever is shorter, or until they are able to receive the required test result while in the Territory
  • Every person ordered to self-quarantine shall proceed directly from the airport to the designated quarantine location per the Virgin Islands Department of Health and shall be responsible for all associated costs, including transportation, lodging, food, and medical care

Incoming passengers are subject to enhanced health screenings and temperature checks to identify potential health risks and may be required to take a COVID-19 test.

For the latest COVID-19 updates, visit usviupdate.com

Restaurants and Food Trucks

  • Restaurants will be allowed to resume dine-in operations under the following conditions:
    • Limited to one-half of their previously allowable capacity, or 50 customers, whichever is less
    • Shall be closed from midnight to 6 a.m. daily
    • No congregation or standing at the bar area
    • No serving of alcohol at bar counters
    • No more than six persons per table
    • Tables must be six feet apart
    • Employees must wear facial coverings at all times
    • Patrons should wear facial coverings whenever they are not seated at a table
    • Patrons waiting for take-out must wait outside
    • No service of alcohol alone to persons outside the restaurant
  • Food trucks shall operate on a drive thru, take-out or delivery basis only

Other Businesses

  • Bars, nightclubs and cabarets are to remain closed
  • Bowling alleys and movie theaters may reopen beginning September 8, 2020
  • Casinos and gaming establishments may reopen beginning September 19, 2020
    • Sale of food and beverages and hosting of parties is prohibited
    • Shall operate at no more than 25 percent of the capacity
  • Wellness centers, fitness centers, gyms, tennis courts and golf courses may reopen
    • Contact sports are prohibited
  • Personal grooming services may reopen
    • All customers awaiting services must wait outside

Churches

  • Churches and houses of worship may reopen with a maximum of 50 people
    • Facial coverings are to be worn at all times
    • Religious leaders may be 10 feet ways from all persons while unmasked
    • Communion may be served in approved containers
    • Funerals and memorials are limited to immediate family and no more than 10 family members

Beaches

  • Public beaches are open
  • All beaches shall be closed from 4 p.m. until 6 a.m. the following day on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays
  • No picnics, parties, disc jockey (DJ), DJ equipment or the likes, camping, bonfire, cooking, barbecuing or grilling are permitted on any beach

Passport Requirement

As a U.S. territory, traveling to the US Virgin Islands is easy with no passport needed for U.S. Citizens. But it still serves as the best identification when traveling.

If you are not a U.S. citizen, then a passport issued by your country of origin is required.

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