All Travelers Arriving to the VI Must Show Proof of Negative COVID Test Results

All Travelers Arriving to the VI Must Show Proof of Negative COVID Test Results

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
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.

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TESTING
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:

  1. 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
  2. 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.

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RESTAURANTS
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.

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BEACHES
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.

MASS GATHERINGS
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.

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We will keep you posted on any further updates, and we can’t wait to welcome you back!

12 thoughts on “All Travelers Arriving to the VI Must Show Proof of Negative COVID Test Results”

  1. Covid is such a courteous virus.
    It won’t bother you if you’re sitting at a table of 6 or less or if you’re at the beach before 4pm.
    Beware if your’e at a bar counter though or walking to the table or bathroom…better have your mask on, Covid will get you.

  2. Any idea what happens if you get your test done 4 or 5 days before you leave, but you still don’t have test results back by the time you arrive? I know labs take about 24 hours to run the tests, but often people don’t get their results back for several days.

  3. Joe…
    That’s where it gets tricky. If you get tested at 7 days and it comes back the next day, that’s outside the 4-5 day timeline. I would guess you should check with your facility and see what the actual turn around time is. We have some places in town that take several days, but we also have one lab doing rapid testing with results in 15 minutes.

  4. What happens if there is a flight delay by a day or two (for weather, let’s say) and the five day window has passed by the time of arrival – BUT – you already had the (-) test result and it’s been uploaded into the portal?

  5. What if testing has been done, all results are (-), they are loaded into the portal for the required five day time frame – BUT – there is a flight delay of a day or two (weather related, for example) and now the five day window has passed by the time we arrive on the island?

  6. This information is not correct according to USVIupdate.com
    The tests are only required if you live in a state with greater than 10% positivity rate
    according to the official government website.

    • Unfortunately there is often a delay between the Governor’s press conference and the governmental website updates. If you check it now, you’ll see (in red, bold print) the information regarding the testing requirement for all travelers arriving on or after September 19, 2020. Click here for the link.

  7. Thank you News of StJ for keeping everyone abreast of developments. The promptness of testing results is currently our concern. We are investigating avenues for rapid response tests. Unfortunately not all geographic areas have equitable access to those tests. Will be interested in what options USVI develops for at airport testing.

  8. We are not able to get a Covid test here in PA unless you have symptoms and we have heard people sometimes have waited up to three weeks for the results. We are arriving in May, hoping this is gone by then otherwise we may have to cancel.

  9. Planning to travel to St Croix on Oct. 3. I assume St Croix will have the same expectations for testing?

    The article only specified St Thomas and St John as far as potential rapid testing availability in the future, so that makes me wonder if there would be different requirements for STX. I’m trying to arrange for testing at a facility that can provide results quickly, but I want to make sure I know which kind of test and what the window is for producing results.

    • Yes, St. Croix has the same testing requirements as St. Thomas and St. John. At this time, the entire US Virgin Islands territory follows the same policies and guidelines. Since this is a St. John blog, we focus primarily on St. John (and St. Thomas when relevant to guests that must travel through St. Thomas to get to St. John). You can get additional testing information for your trip here. Safe travels!

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