The territory reverted back to the Safer at Home phase today, and most non-essential businesses are allowed to reopen! According to Governor Albert Bryan, his decision to move our territory back to this phase was largely due to the increase of testing and decrease in positive cases, which has moved us below the 5% positivity rate threshold.
We have quite a few updates to share with you regarding our hotel reopening date, visitor testing requirements, restaurants, and beach hours from today’s press conference:
Hotels, Airbnbs, villas, and guest houses can begin checking in guests on Saturday, September 19, 2020. US Virgin Island residents who would like a staycation are allowed to stay in local hotels beginning today if they provide a local identification card.
One of the most significant changes announced at today’s press conference is that ALL travelers (residents and guests) entering the territory must present a negative COVID test result when arriving at one of the USVI airports. Every traveler 15 years of age or older is required to produce either:
- A negative COVID-19 antigen (molecular/PCR/rapid) test result received within five days prior to travel to the USVI (the five day window is related to receiving your test results, not taking the test), or
- A positive COVID-19 antibody test result received within four months prior to travel to the USVI.
To expedite the arrival process at the airport, please register and upload your test results in advance of arrival on the USVI Travel Portal, which can be accessed here.
According to Governor Bryan, the government is working toward making rapid testing available at the airport so that guests who are unable to be tested prior to travel can be tested upon their arrival in the territory. They anticipate that this system will be in place by the end of the month. In the meantime, those who arrive without test results can be tested at one of our facilities on St. John or St. Thomas, or quarantine for up to 14 days while in the territory.
Restaurants are allowed to reopen for dining in, with the following conditions:
- No serving alcohol at bar counters;
- Restaurants are prohibited from seating more than six persons per table;
- Tables must be at least six feet apart;
- Patrons must wear masks upon entering the restaurant and while walking around, but may remove them at all times while seated; and
- Employees must wear facial coverings at all times.
All bars that do not serve food will continue to remain closed.
Beaches will remain open until 4:00 pm on weekends and holidays, opening at 6:00 am the following day. There are no restrictions on beach hours during the week.
No greater than 50 persons may gather in any given place, and social distancing of six feet is required. Churches and other places of worship may reopen today, subject to the maximum person mandate, and attendees can partake in communion.
Casinos and gaming facilities are allowed to reopen on September 19, 2020. Nursing homes and senior living facilities will remain closed.
We will keep you posted on any further updates, and we can’t wait to welcome you back!