Well, it’s officially been announced yesterday that St Croix and the rest of the USVI are going on a bit of a pause. As of Monday, August 17th all non-essential businesses will be closed down for at least 2 weeks. If you have reservations on the island in after Wednesday August 19th for the next 30 days, you will need to contact your accommodations for more information about cancellations or rebooking as you will not be able to check-in. It is anticipated that businesses may reopen for local business after August 31st, I’ll let you know as things unfold and we are able to resume entertainment on the island.
What does this mean for travelers ✈️ ?
? All non-essential businesses ordered closed as of Monday, August 17th for at least 2 weeks.
? Hotels, Villas, Air BnBs, etc are prohibited immediately from taking any new reservations. You will not be able to check-in after Wednesday, August 19th regardless of a current reservation and for the next 30 days. You will need to cancel or rebook your reservation as all guest accommodations are prohibited from checking in new guests.
✈️ All airports remain open (only the FAA – Federal Aviation Administration – can close airports within the United States and its Territories)
⛱️ All beaches are ordered closed on the weekends and holidays at 12 noon.
?️ All restaurants are restricted to takeout, delivery or drive-thru food service only until at least August 31st.
? All businesses are required to follow mass gathering restrictions of no more than 10 people inside the business at any time (exception: big box stores), enforce the wearing of masks (facial coverings) and maintain 6-foot social distancing. (folks not wearing masks in public will be fined $50 for their first offense; $100 for subsequent violations)
Locals are encouraged to restrict travel to urgent and essential business travel only.
The Territory is not expected to move back to Phase Blue: Open Doors for at least a month but will be reevaluated on August 31st (in two weeks) when we will hopefully transition to Phase Yellow: Safer at Home which means that locally more things will open, but leisure travel will remain restricted for 30 days at a minimum.
If you are traveling to the USVI
As of July 15, 2020, there were 11 states and territories under travel restrictions into the Virgin Islands: Arizona; Florida; Georgia; Idaho; Kansas; Mississippi; Nevada; Puerto Rico; South Carolina; Texas and Utah. Travelers from those states and territories and any other that shows a percent positive rate over 10% must present test results showing they have tested negative for COVID-19 within 5 days of their arrival into the Territory.
These requirements affect travelers as follows:
- Residents of a state with a positivity rating of greater than 10%
- Travelers who have spent more than 7 days in and are traveling from a state with a positivity rating of greater than 10%
- Travelers who are age 15 and older
- Travelers unable to produce the required test results will be subject to quarantine for 14 days or until they are able to receive the required test results.
Resources for USVI Travel updates:
- For USVI Travel Updates visit: https://usviupdate.com/
- USVI Travel Portal (to upload COVID-19 Test results for travelers)
- Click for Flight Updates
- Click for Hotel Updates
- For USVI Port Authority updates: http://www.viport.com/news.html
Phase Orange: Stay-at-Home Orders
There is a State of Emergency in effect. The Territory is currently in Phase Orange: Stay-at-Home as of Monday August 17, 2020 and is closed to leisure travelers for at least the next 30 days.
- Effective Monday August 17 at 6am, the Territory reverts to Stay at Home Orders.
- All non-essential businesses ordered closed.
- Non-essential public workers are to remain at home.
- The prohibition of new leisure travel reservations is effective immediately, and on Wednesday, August 19, 2020, those businesses are prohibited from admitting any new check-ins or registering any new guests for 30 days unless the order is lifted sooner. The new restriction does not apply to business travelers, , emergency personnel, flight crews or government guests with written authorization from the government agency they are visiting. As of Wednesday, August 19, 2020, All hotels, guest-houses, villas, bed and breakfasts, shared economy hospitality bookings, AirBnBs, any temporary vacation housing, charter vessels, or any similar business known by any other terminology, shall not accept, receive, check-in, or register any guest for a period of thirty (30) days unless earlier lifted, extended, or amended by order of the Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, except for emergency personnel, flight crews, business travelers and government guests with written authorization from the Government Agency for whom rendering services.
- Locals are encouraged to restrict travel to urgent and essential business travel only.
- All public, private, and parochial school campuses in the Territory are ordered closed. Virtual learning is still permissible.
- Churches are to remain closed during the Stay-At-Home Order.
- All beaches are ordered closed on the weekends and holidays at 12 noon.
- Also beginning Monday, August 17 and lasting until August 31 unless earlier lifted, restaurants are restricted to takeout, delivery or drive-thru food service only.
- All bars, nightclubs and cabarets are to remain closed so long as the Territory remains in a State of Emergency.
- All taxis and safaris are limited to half capacity as long as the Territory remains in a State of Emergency.
- The prohibition against mass gatherings remains in effect; however, under the “Stay at Home” status, mass gatherings are defined as any event or convening that brings together more than 10 persons in a single room. A mass gathering does not include operations for standard essential services and infrastructure, such as grocery stores and bi-box stores, airports and seaports or medical facilities.
The Governor stated that the administration has worked to balance public health, economic well-being and personal freedom throughout the pandemic. But, at this moment the Public Health crisis is most pressing. The goal of this order is to stop all movement and all gatherings until the spread of COVID-19 is back to a manageable state.
- Any individuals gathering for any purpose, including but not limited to visitors, patrons, employees, or owners of businesses, public or private, are required to wear a face mask or facial covering when entering in any business, office, or in any public areas not their private home when:
- 2 or more individuals of different households meet or interact in any manner; and
- not able to utilize social distancing techniques
- Masks should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- Masks do not have to be worn during active exercise, indoor or outdoor.
- Masks with exhalation valves or vents should NOT be worn to help prevent the person wearing the mask from spreading COVID-19 to others.
- Violations of this Section shall be punishable by a fine of fifty dollars ($50) for a first offense and one hundred dollars ($100) for each additional offense.
Executive Orders related to COVID-19
Executive Orders provide more detail on the current status and allowed business operations
- View all current US Virgin Islands Executive Orders and Guidance for Businesses