Good Morning, Good Morning! And it is an absolutely beautiful morning here on St. John! Two weeks ago, the USVI Mask Mandate requiring masks in outdoor spaces was lifted. And, as of Governor Bryan’s weekly press briefing on Monday, we are pretty much mask free on St. John 🙂 There are a few exceptions to this restriction, or lack thereof. But, we are makin’ big moves back into the realm of normalcy here in the US Virgin Islands!
On Monday, March 14, 2022, Governor Bryan announced that, effective immediately, the mask mandates for public indoor spaces is extinguished. This means no masks (are required by the government) in grocery stores, the post office, shops, restaurants, etc. I went to St. John Market (now a third Dolphin Market by the Westin) yesterday without a mask on and felt like a rebel. Ha!
Now, there are a few exceptions to this rule that are under review at present, so don’t take your masks out of your suitcases quite yet. For starters, masks are still required in all airports and marine terminals (the ferry docks). You will also, as of now, still need them for your flight. According to an article from Time Magazine, “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced on March 10 that the mask mandate for public transportation and transit hubs, which was set to expire on March 18, 2022, will be extended through April 18.”
And, ferries still fall under the Federal mandate. I’m assuming the same one that was mentioned in the above article. So, you will still need to mask up for your boat ride. Interisland Boat Services confirmed this for me via text this morning. This is not the ferry companies’ rules. READ: Federal Mandate. The ferries fall under the same rules and jurisdiction as airplanes when it comes to minding your Captain and abiding by the rules.
Additionally, business owners have the right to continue to require a mask in their place of business. Generally speaking, have your mask handy and please be conscientious of the business you are entering and respect their wishes. If you have to put a mask on for 15 minutes to buy a souvenir, it’s not the end of the world. Because, you know what? You can take it off as soon as you exit the business and head over to the bar for a mask free happy hour. I plan to have mine in my wallet for the next little while as I figure out who is still asking for us to mask up. Some people, especially on St. John (island time), take a minute to adjust. Be patient. Be kind. And have a (mostly mask free) BLAST while you are visiting!
OK…To recap, masks are still required in the following areas and situations:
- In and around all airports and marine terminals.
- On the ferries
- On the planes
- In any business where the businessowner has chosen to continue to require masks for their patrons
- Healthcare facilities (including nursing homes)
Have a great Wednesday everyone! We are looking forward to seeing your smiles here on St. John!