It may be a little known fact that the USVI officially banned sunscreen containing chemicals that damage the reefs and are potentially hazardous to humans this spring. On March 30, 2020, the USVI sunscreen ban officially went into effect making the territory the first in the United States to implement this ruling to be followed by Hawaii and Key West in January of 2021.
It has been nine months since the US Virgin Islands first took an active role in our response to the world-wide Covid-19 pandemic. After temporarily halting many of our services and shutting down the island for incoming guests in an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus and to keep our residents and guests safe, the USVI Government and Covid-19 Task Force implemented a gradual, multi-phased approach for our re-opening in a safe and practical way.
At today’s weekly press conference, Richard Motta Jr., the Governor’s Director of Communications reminded us that effective today, we take another step forward in our re-opening process – and bars (the establishment itself, to be distinguished from the counters at the bars) and nightclubs are allowed to re-open today subject to a few restrictions:
The US Virgin Islands is quickly approaching what is traditionally considered the beginning of our busy season. This year, however, has been a strange one due to periodic island closures. From the traffic on island recently, it seems that many guests rescheduled their spring and summer plans to instead arrive on island in October and November.
Planes full of excited passengers have been arriving at our airports since the territory re-opened in mid-September. And while our government has now made COVID testing mandatory for all guests and residents ages five and over before entering the USVI (or quarantine), the question on everyone’s mind is whether flying these days is really all that safe. So what are the experts saying?
If you have been following along, you have probably seen that the passenger ferry has been operating on limited hours since the beginning of the pandemic last spring. In recent months, since the re-opening to tourism, reports of the ferries being packed have been circulating. Well, in the spirit of social distancing, the passenger ferry will be operating with more extended hours. Additionally, a new online ticketing system will help to ease your traveling minds.
Earlier this year, there was a lot of concern voiced over the lack of greenery on the hillsides of St. John as the territory hedged through a drought. We go through a significant dry period each spring and summer leading into hurricane season.
You may remember the severity of the drought in 2015. We thought the rain would NEVER come!
Well, this year was very similar and was categorized as “severe” by the US Drought Monitor Map. And, over the past few weeks, it has come to a dramatic end with a huge surge of rainfall on St. John.
So, while the many areas in the country are experiencing intense droughts and wildfires, the Virgin Islands are experiencing record breaking rainfalls which has led to flooding in some areas. The average annual precipitation in the USVI according to Weather Atlas is 38 inches with the majority of that accumulation occurring between September and November.
The University of Nebraska reports these totals as collected by weather stations at different locations on St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John. The Cruz Bay station’s average total for October 1-13 of this year was recorded at 2.55 inches. An additional 3 inches between October 14-21 makes that a total of about six inches for this month. So, to say that things are back to being green right now would be an understatement. The hillsides are absolutely popping with color and we are experiencing beautifully clear skies under which to enjoy them.
One of the first things most visitors do when arriving on St. John – whether it’s their first trip or their 20th – is to take the iconic North Shore Road and stop for photos at the world-famous Trunk Bay Lookout. I even know of one particular resident *ehem* who still does the same, every time she opts for the scenic route in lieu of Centerline.
Rumors have been circulating on social media over the last few days about a governmental closure of restaurants and beaches in our community. The Government House issued a statement in response, stating that “Neither Governor Albert Byran Jr., Government House nor the administration’s COVID-19 Task Force have made any official announcements concerning beach closures, added restrictions to restaurants’ current operations or further restrictions on gatherings at funerals or other events in the territory.” The statement also noted that future action may be taken depending upon the outcome of the data compiled over the coming days.
Additional information will be released at the Governor’s press conference on Monday, August 10, 2020 at 1:00 pm. We will post our summary shortly thereafter, and will keep you posted about any new developments.
Good morning! As of 6:00 am, the roads are clear and the curfew has been lifted. The ports are closed until further notice; we will let you know when they re-open. The airports remain open.
According to the Governor, the ocean is not safe for swimming today due to remaining swells, but there are many other enjoyable ways to spend your day! Help support our local economy with some shopping, go for a hike on one of our many trails, or learn about some of the fascinating and important St. Johnian history at Annaberg Sugar Plantation.
Good morning! A tropical storm warning is in effect for St. John. We will bring you the latest update regarding the storm shortly after the Governor’s press conference at 10:00 am. In the meantime, if you are leaving the island today, the last passenger ferries to Red Hook and Crowne Bay will depart at 11:00 am before the ports shut down entirely for the day. If anything changes we will let you know!