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VIDOJ Says It Will Prosecute Travelers Who Present Fake COVID-19 Results At Arrival

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Attorney General Denise George has announced that anyone found submitting false COVID-19 documents or forged test results to the USVI travel screening portal will be prosecuted pursuant to V.I. Code tit. 14, § 843.

AG George will also be joining a coalition of attorneys general representing states, districts, and territories, in a sign-on letter to address deceptive online marketing and sales of Fake COVID Vaccine Cards.

All passengers 5 years of age or older traveling by air or sea, including those in transit, must use the USVI Travel Screening Portal and submit a covid-19 test result prior to travel. A COVID-19 test is not required to leave the USVI, however, travelers into the USVI must upload a legitimate covid19 test result to the travel portal. A negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel OR a positive COVID-19 antibody test taken within 4 months ahead of travel are required to enter the USVI from the U.S. Without travel clearance from the portal, passengers may not be able to board
an aircraft or vessel to the territory.

Health officials have confirmed that there has been a recent increase in fraudulent test results submitted to the travel portal. In the past week, 64 results were flagged for authenticity concerns and many of them were confirmed to be altered or made-up test results.

The announcement was shared during the Governor’s COVID-19 Press Conference held today.. Virgin Islands Department of Justice, Criminal Chief of St. Croix, Attorney Eric Chancellor reminded the community of the Virgin Islands statutes that clarify the laws regarding submitting false documents to the Government of the V.I. including COVID-19 test results. Attorney Chancellor

said that moving forward, the Office of the Attorney General will prosecute anyone caught doing
so.
“There is simply no excuse for this behavior, and make no mistake about it, submitting false
documents to the Government of the Virgin Islands is criminal behavior”, Attorney Chancellor
said. “In accordance with this policy announcement, the Attorney General has directed that
henceforth, anyone submitting forged documents or false test results through the travel-screening
portal will be prosecuted and there are 2 V.I. statutes applicable to the crime:
V.I. Code, Section 843 of title 14, entitled ‘False and Fraudulent Statements upon the
Government’, makes it a crime for anyone in any matter within the jurisdiction of any agency of
the Government of the V.I. to knowingly and willfully falsify, conceal, or cover-up by any trick,
scheme, or device, a material fact or to make any false or fraudulent statement or representation in
such matters. Violators of this statute face a fine of up to $500 or imprisonment of up to 2 years,
or both a fine and imprisonment.
V.I. Code, Section 795 of title 14, relates to the filing and recording of forged instruments. That
statute criminalizes the procuring or offering of any false or fraudulent instrument to be filed or
recorded in any public office within the V.I. Violators of this statute face a fine of up to $1,000
and can be imprisoned for up to 5 years,” stated Atty Chancellor.
AG George reminds the public that these laws were put in place to safeguard everyone.

“Keep in mind, not only is this behavior fraudulent, but it intentionally puts our entire community at risk.
The best way to get around that is to get vaccinated or plan for travel”, said AG George. After completing 4 weeks in the community vaccination centers, the Dept. of Health announced that since opening on March 1st, the U.S. Virgin Islands have crossed the 25,000 mark of individuals vaccinated against covid-19, an indication that half of the population has received the vaccine. As more people received the vaccination, the territory will be closer to reaching herd immunity, and Governor Bryan’s goal to have 50,000 people vaccinated by July 1st
.
To book an appointment for the vaccine, please visit covid19usvi.com/vaccines or call (340) 777-8227.

For more information on travel requirements, please visit usviupdate.com.

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