Two years. Two freaking years. The first weekend of March in 2020, we were dancing in the sand at Maho Crossroads and on the mountain at The Windmill Bar during VI Jam Fest. We were hugging our friends and seeing their smiling faces. We were hearing snippets of an illness spreading through the states, specifically in New York. We had no idea what was coming next.
A few weeks later, we learned about wearing a mask, taking stabs to the nose in order to travel, staying six feet away from the people we love. The social butterflies within us were diminished like moths getting too close to the flame. We lost loved ones, we stayed at home, we kept face masks in our wallets, our purses, our cars. We wondered when it would end.
Well, the pandemic surely isn’t completely over. But, this week, the US Virgin Islands are taking giant steps in the direction of normalcy once again.
Teddy and I were out on term charter for seven days on Vita this past week and we brought our guests in to Cruz Bay for dinner on Monday night. After days on the water, I was a bit more disconnected than I generally am. So, when I heard hoots and hollers from the back of a pick up truck about mask mandates going out the window, I stopped the fun loving gang to find out what was going on.
On Monday afternoon, at his weekly briefing, Governor Bryan lifted the mask mandates for outdoor venues. No more masks at the beach bars, in the parks or at any venue with less than three walls. Finally.
Once again at the pre-game shows for VI Jam Fest last night, we saw our friends’ smiling faces behind the bar and all over the mountaintop at the Windmill Bar. It was a glorious slice of normal. It felt, for a moment, like none of this had happened.
Now, to be clear, the mask mandates have NOT been completely lifted. They are still required in indoor spaces such as grocery stores and enclosed restaurants and on public transportation such as ferries and taxis. They are also still required in the terminal at the airport and at the seaports. The following is the February 28, 2022 amendment to the original Executive Order from March of 2020:
Ok, now onto other VERY exciting news! Beginning on March 7, 2022, if you are fully vaccinated you DO NOT need to supply a negative COVID-19 test in order to travel into the US Virgin Islands!!! Are you doing a happy dance? Cause I’m over here doing all of the happy dances! (I wish I could put emojis in these posts. Ha!)
A valid proof of vaccination will be required and you must still use the travel portal to upload your documents and get the green code for clearance. But, no more stress of COVID tests and scrambling at the last minute to get on your flight. Can I get a heck yea?
Now, if you or any members of your party are not vaccinated, you will not be denied entry. Those who are unvaccinated will still need to upload a negative COVID test taken within five days of departure. For updated information on all things travel in relation to COVID in the US Virgin Islands, please check the USVI Travel Portal.
I want to say thank you to so many of you who have reached out over the past two years. The COVID-19 coverage has been, at times, pretty heavy and not something I enjoy writing about. But, it is necessary information that needs to be shared. And SO many of you have reached out to say how helpful it has been. So, thank you for your kind words and encouragement along the way. and thank you, thank you, thank you to all who have respectfully visited us and abided by the rules in place that we all have lived with for the past two years. This is the moment we have all been waiting for. And, hopefully, this will be on of the last dwindling COVID-19 updates I will have to write 🙂