COVID Update:  Vaccination and International Travel Testing Questions Answered

COVID Update: Vaccination and International Travel Testing Questions Answered

Good Morning!  I have a seen A LOT of comments coming through in regards to two specific questions. And, at the risk of being redundant with these COVID-19 posts, I wanted to address those two questions here so you all have access to the information when you need it.

First Question:

Do I need a negative COVID test to travel into the territory if I have been vaccinated?

The answer is yes.

COVID Update: Vaccination and International Travel Testing Questions Answered 1
VI Department of Health Facebook Page: 1/12/2021

From a New York Times article published this morning:

“Proof of immunization will not be sufficient, because the vaccines have only been shown to prevent serious illness,” said Jason McDonald, a spokesman for the C.D.C. “Vaccinated people may still become infected, in theory, and transmit the virus on a flight.”

In short, the vaccine should prevent you from getting seriously ill, but it may not prevent you from carrying it to others.  Hence the encouraged use of masks once you are already vaccinated.  The vaccine protects you.  The masks protect others around you.  The negative COVID-19 test ensures you won’t pass it to others on your flight or in the territory.  For more information on where to get a test in the states, contact your local health department or check out this post from November that I published based on my own experiences.

COVID Update: Vaccination and International Travel Testing Questions Answered 2

This next query I only heard one time, but it encouraged me to do some research and I’m going to get out ahead of it!

It appears everybody flying back to the United States has to have a negative test result three days before flying.  Where do we get tested in the USVI?

Yesterday, the CDC issued an order that will go into effect on January 26, 2021 that ALL travelers entering the US from a foreign country will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result prior to entering the country.  This DOES NOT include travel from the USVI.  The document clearly states at the bottom of page three:

Foreign country means anywhere that is not a state, territory or posesession of the United States.

So, you’re good to head home unless your state requires testing for re-entry.

If you need, or want, to test while you are visiting, below are a list of resources where you can do just that!

COVID Update: Vaccination and International Travel Testing Questions Answered 3

Additionally, you can call the VI Department of Health (340-776-1519) in order to set up a test with them.

Again, I’m sorry for the influx of COVID information but it seemed like a lot of you were requesting the information.  Tomorrow (I promise!) we get back to beaches, boats and a new restaurant offering local cuisine that will soon be opening in Cruz Bay!

24 thoughts on “COVID Update: Vaccination and International Travel Testing Questions Answered”

  1. Quick follow up for the vaccination question – I thought VI was allowing those with a positive antibody test (taken and positive result within 4 months of travel) was acceptable? If you get the vaccine, you may quite likely have a positive antibody result. Therefore, going back to my original question – is the positive antibody test result still acceptable?

  2. We are heading to St. John in March! I was planning on doing a day charter through the BVI as well, really wanted to get back to Cooper! If we do a day charter do we have to get a Covid test to come back to St. John? Any advice or ideas on how that works?

    • I think the BVI are still closed ?? Obviously this might change by March but I would just keep staying up to date on the info for that.

  3. The other thing people are asking is whether the USVI will have to change their requirement for testing so it is in alignment with the U.S. “Mainland”. Right now, as you showed above, the USVI requires testing within 5 days and the U.S. “Mainland” is testing within 3 days. 5 days was difficult in many places, 3 days will be even more difficult.

  4. On St John at Myrah Keating Smith Clinic,“Testing must be referred by the Department of Health.” Do you know what they mean by that? Do they require you to already have symptoms as they did once? Thanks so much for all the research! Questions have been flying around St John!

  5. We were there in November and we were ok with a positive antibody test within at least the 4 months prior to visiting. Is that still allowed or is the negative test the only option at this point? We are coming back in March.

  6. Do you still have to quarantine for 14 days when traveling into St. John USVI from the mainland US if you have a negative Covid test result within 3 days prior to your flight to St. John?

  7. Thanks for the clarification. We live in Connecticut which requires testing for re-entry. Our plan is to bring Quest Diagnostic at home test kits, self test 3 days before departing St. John, and FedEx the samples back to Quest.

  8. At the entrance to Francis Bay beach today, we were eavesdropping on the conversation of 6 officials who were discussing the construction of a concrete barrier on the beach side of the parking lot. Do you know why they would be doing that? The parking is quite limited as it is now.

    • We came back last month and saw they were constructing (what appears to be) a bathroom… maybe it’s to protect/prevent people from driving into and damaging that structure? Just a thought.. but you are right… definitely limited parking @ Francis

  9. I so appreciate the Covid updates. Things are changing rapidly and for those of us traveling in the next couple of months welcome the news. Now we just have to figure out how to get to the BVI in late March and what we’ll need to do before we can enter that territory.

    Thank you.

  10. Thank you for this information. I am not finding on any site where it says we can travel home from the US VI to the continental United States. Can you please advise where you found this information? Thank you

  11. Thank you. As someone who is coming to St John’s at the end of the month, your information has been very helpful. I can’t wait to feel the warmth and get in the beautiful warm water!!
    I do love the articles too. But this current info is important for all of us visitors to have. Thanks bunches!!

  12. Thanks for addressing again, Hillary.

    Does anyone know if there are still pop up testing sites on STJ? We will be on island in February and NY requires a preemptive negative test while being away in order to shorten the quarantine period post-return.

    If we can avoid heading over to Red Hook to get tested during our stay, that would be ideal. If we need to, sie la vie.

  13. From USVI Tourism:

    “The new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19-related travel requirements for all air passengers arriving in the United States DO NOT apply to persons traveling from the U.S. Virgin Islands to the United States.

    The new requirements, which go into effect on January 26, 2021, apply to passengers arriving in the U.S. Virgin Islands from a foreign country. A foreign country means anywhere that is NOT a state, territory or possession of the United States.

    The existing testing requirements for passengers traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands from the United States remain the same. Visit http://www.usviupdate.com for more details. “

  14. I am also coming in February from New York and was wondering if we can get tested on St. John before flying back. There are 5 of us traveling so trying to make it as easy as possible 🙂

  15. We are trying to decide between St John and Hawaii for our Summer vacation. One thing about Hawaii is that the test must be within three days, be a PCR test, and be from a “trusted partner” (of which only CVS and Walgreen’s exist in Florida) the thing is that CVS and Walgreens are saying results could take up to a week. Also several of the islands like Hawaii (the Big Island) is requiring a second test upon arrival and Kauai requires you stay in a “resort bubble” for three days then pass a second test (if anyone in your party is positive you go in to a “hard quarantine” with your whole party. How does this compare to what we would face in USVI? At this point we are just thinking about Key West, but that’s where we went last Summer.

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