Governor Albert Bryan Jr. returned today after a month-long absence from the weekly VI Government House Press Conferences to address the territory on some updates to COVID regulations.
He first thanked everyone for their continued compliance with COVID-related mandates. He noted that while we work toward establishing a new way of life as we navigate this new world of COVID, we need to find a way to live with the virus. Not just in a literal sense, but in a way that we can actually enjoy life instead of just ‘existing.’ The Governor agreed that social outlets are an important part of everyday life and assured us that the USVI COVID-19 Task Force is working full time to develop protocols to gradually allow us to start living more normally in this “new normal.”
A few items of note to share with you today:
While it’s easier to catch the virus while indoors, Governor Bryan reminded us that it is still possible to transmit the virus while on a boat, and discouraged everyone from attending large parties at sea. If you are on a boat with others outside of your immediate family, wearing a mask is not mandatory, but it is strongly encouraged.
Boaters are also reminded that multi-vessel “raft-ups” are prohibited. Given the steep fines, it seems they are taking this really seriously, folks!
We don’t necessarily have any nightclubs on St. John, but if that’s your thing and you plan to hop over to St. Thomas, you’ll be happy to know that nightclubs have been given permission to re-open on November 9, 2020. However, clubs will still be subject to mass gathering mandates.
The Governor noted that our territory has experienced some issues regarding visitors who refuse to wear masks and comply with our local guidelines. In an effort to keep us – and all of YOU – as safe as possible while you’re here, additional law enforcement personnel have been assigned to monitor our public areas. Violators may be detained or arrested for non-compliance.
Again, it seems they are taking this very seriously, and since I’m not really much of a cook, I won’t be able to bake you a cake with a file in it for your quick escape – so it’s probably easier to just comply! (Anyone else now want cake?)
On a positive note – as individuals, we really only have one main rule regarding COVID, and it’s super easy to follow. Wear your mask in all public spaces.
The one exception to the public mask rule is actually a huge exception that makes us all very happy: Masks are not required at the beach if you are able to socially distance. Thankfully, the island isn’t too crowded right now, so social distancing is quite easy at this time. However, please bring a mask with you , as you will be required to wear it if you purchase any food, beverages, or water toys from any of the beach vendors.
That’s about it for today! Check back with us next week for any possible changes. Have a great one, everybody! Get outside if you can, take a few deep breaths, and remind yourself of the good things in life. I am sure St. John is high on your list!