Governor’s Update: Lots of Information Today!

Governor's Update: Lots of Information Today! 1
Trunk Bay

Well folks, the Governor just concluded a press conference and we have lots of information to share with you!

Let’s start with the topic I know you all want to know about the most – when can you return to St. John. According to the Governor, tourists will likely be able to return to the US Virgin Islands beginning on June 1.

The Governor announced a five tier alert system Wednesday afternoon, which will help manage the Territory’s reopening. The system is color coded and can be seen below:

Governor's Update: Lots of Information Today! 2
St. John is operating as “Orange” as of April 29, 2020.
Governor's Update: Lots of Information Today! 3
St. John will move to “Yellow” on May 4, 2020 and is anticipated to being operating as “Blue” on June 1, 2020.

As of today, April 29, 2020, St. John (and the entire Virgin Islands) is operating as Orange. Beginning Monday, May 4, 2020, St. John will move to Yellow. It is anticipated, per the Governor, that St. John will move to Blue on June 1, 2020.

“We anticipate moving from this yellow Safer at Home status to the blue Open Door status on June 1st,” the Governor said Wednesday afternoon. “That’s when we will be opening up the reservation systems, and welcoming tourists back, leisure travelers into our Territory. We figure this month we will be able to see where our weak points are, reinforce our airports which we have found to be where the virus is coming onto the Territory. At the same time, being able to get more reinforcement at both hospitals…”

When St. John begins operating under the Blue status, restaurants will be able to offer dine-in services once again. Currently, restaurants are only able to offer take out, delivery or drive through. For the time being, all bars remain closed.

There seems to be an outstanding question regarding whether or not people entering the US Virgin Islands are required to quarantine. I reached out to Government House via Facebook and was told:

“Temperatures are taken at the time of arrival to the Territory and those individuals are also monitored. The 14-day quarantine following travel is not mandatory.”

Beginning Monday, May 4, 2020, face coverings will be required when entering all commercial establishments. It is uncertain whether that will continue or expire when travelers are invited to return June 1.

Not everyone will agree with the Governor’s plan. Some think the reopening is too soon; some think it is too late. Whatever your feelings may be, let’s be kind to one another. Love always wins. Hate does not.

37 thoughts on “Governor’s Update: Lots of Information Today!”

  1. That’s some very encouraging news we all know that the territory is tourist driven so it is better to be safe than sorry. Waiting another month I think it’s a great idea. Like you said everybody needs to stay positive and you will come back better than ever. For us September will be here before you know it.

  2. Thanks Jenn for the update. We will be there for 10 days in November. Any updates on your favorite topic 🙂 (Caneel Bay) since the RUE expiration countdown continues?

    • How many cases develop within 14 day periods of time. If during the Yellow stage we start to see an outbreak then the Governor will rethink and re-adjust as time goes on. Blue is not set in stone, it is however how we are all hoping it will go.

  3. I don’t quite understand the face covering requirement under Blue. If there can be “NO gathering without face covering”, how is that consistent with “face coverings in all commercial entities is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED”. Are face coverings required or just highly recommended? And how does that work for restaurants? And, for example, on a 25 person sailing excursion – what’s the face mask and social distance requirement? As much as we would like to return this year, I don’t think we will do do so until St. John is operating under Green.

    • As a New Yorker, I agree that this plan is well laid out. We need this type of clarity from our governor. There will be some inconveniences short-term but big deal. Let’s work together to restart the world and buy time for the medical industry to find a lasting solution. God bless.

      • I agree with you, Paul. Same situation here in NJ. We need better leadership and clarity here in our state as well. God bless.

        • We fully intend to return to beautiful St. John this November. You can do a Covid test at the airport, and we will quarantine until the results come back. Whatever is needed for reassurance. You guys have been through the ringer with multiple hurricanes and now a virus. Time for peace.

  4. Glad to see there is forward progress and we are looking forward to returning to our home in the Fall. Thanks for keeping us updated Jen.

  5. Wednesday 4/29/20
    Best new I heard for some time, it’s about time! Although I visit St.John during March I’m pleased that we can enjoy the USVI in the near future. The Governor seams to have a grip on just what’s safe and when it can happen.
    Back in Massachusetts where I’m, from we’re just flattening the curve, and looking for the freedoms we once took for granted.
    While we’re not out of the woods yet, I think I can see the clearing just ahead what a nice view!

  6. Thank you for information keep up the great work and longer we keep mask on longer we will live. This will be going on for a few years for sure… reality hits when you can’t say good by to a love one. It’s happening every five min.

  7. I LOVE the clarity of this framework. Wouldn’t it be great if the entire country could adopt the same standards? It would allow everyone to make fully informed decisions. Some folks might decide to only travel under “green” conditions, others might be ok with “blue” or even “yellow.”

    • I, too, think that the simplicity of this plan and the clarity in which it was presented should be an example to the rest of the country! Amazingly informative, absolutely simple. I live in Texas, and our governor/mayors/County judges are constantly giving conflicting information. A nice, color-coded “threat” chart is wonderful! I am so looking forward to visiting St. John for our family’s annual trip in August. If it means I may come home with a strange tan line from wearing a mask, it will be worth it! I will gladly wear a mask if it means that the island is cautiously and thoughtfully opening up so as to keep everyone healthy. Love and peace, my friends. Stay safe.

  8. Thank you for this summary of information. I’m with Dave in that I remain a bit confused about Blue status. The face mask requirements need to be clarified. If movies and bowling alleys will not be allowed to serve food, will restaurants and bars be allowed to seat and serve guests? Will the beaches and restaurants be restricted to 50 persons? How do the face mask and social distancing requirements work in those settings? Any further information you can gather on this would be great. I’ll be staying tuned. Thanks for your good work!

  9. When can rental villas and hotels come out from Governor’s blocked status and accept bookings? How did Governor work in VI Epidemiologist Dr Ellis’ warning that the VI has not even started to enter the exposure curve (today’s news). News also mentioned ‘travel Insurance’ is not reimbursing Covid cancellations. And could there be legal, financial liability lurking somewhere???

  10. Since the storms I be taking things one day at a time,
    Today’s question is do you have any info when island residents will receive our stimulus checks?
    Waiting patiently with positivity in my heart but my bank account is in the red !!!
    Any info ?
    Figured you may know :o)

  11. Since the storms I be taking things one day at a time,
    Today’s question is do you have any info when island residents will receive our stimulus checks?
    Waiting patiently with positivity in my heart but my bank account is in the red !!!
    Any info ?
    Figured you may know :o)

    • It sounds like it will be a bit unfortunately. During the Monday press conference, I believe the Governor said it could be late May or early June.

  12. Thanks for doing this.

    Program sounds reasonable- considering.

    Will the dates set/mentioned hold?

    Unclear about restaurants and bars under “Blue”.

    Will Green ever be achieved?

    We are ready to come drop some green in the tourist industry come July! Masked and ready- that is!

    Oh yea, what about fireworks?

  13. Sigh. Unless someone is tested before they get on a plane ( rapid testing needed) ALL visitors could be potential carriers. They may not have symptoms or a temperature. Sadly, I think the USVI has just opened the door to a deadly virus by letting visitors from the states come. I also know the economic need and that does indeed pose a dilemma. Wishing all islanders who have been safe and healthy up until now, stay that way.

    • This won’t be the last virus unfortunately. Do you shut down each flu season?
      4 deaths in the territory, all elderly with underlying conditions. Many of you have had this Covid and don’t know it.
      Luckily now we have treatments.
      This is only delaying the inevitable spread while crashing our economy.

  14. It’s encouraging to see this plan from the Governor, but I fear that its phases will advance too quickly. I encourage everyone to read the following article by the VI’s epidemiologist, Dr. Esther Ellis:
    http://www.virginislandsdailynews.com/news/ellis-says-usvi-at-beginning-of-outbreak-as-antibodies-remain-elusive/article_11cdd5b4-af81-56d2-b5e4-a4ecaabe4bce.html
    It’s great that the VI has so far avoided large-scale infection with SARS-CoV-2, but that simply means that everyone here remains at risk of infection. “Going Blue”, and allowing open visitation by tourists from a US mainland that varies widely in how they have dealt with this pandemic may well be what tips the VI from its current fortunate position into a devastating new wave of infections. The VI has a substantial number of elderly residents, along with a very constrained and fragile health care system. Until each of the feeder states have succeeded in not just “flattening their curves”, but actually see infection rates plunging to very low levels, “Going Blue” will be making a dangerous trade-off between economic activity and public health.

    All the best,

    Kevin McCarthy

  15. We just left our Cruz Bay rental on April 16, having extended our stay by nearly 3 weeks, due to fear of traveling. We’re ending quarantine tomorrow, having returned to the Cape and we SO miss the blue skies, bright flowers and 80 degree temps. Our return in March 2021 is anticipated with much joy. Please be careful, everyone.

  16. My family of five have a June 9th trip planned. I’m not clear on the blue code with respect to the wearing of face masks when visiting restaurants, or going on a sailing trip. If we have to wear mask while on this trip, I’d rather postpone to another time.

  17. Thanks so much for the update – I agree with most here that the important first step of laying out a plan is a positive one. I’m encouraged that there is clarity, and also that there is flexibility to move backwards, if needed. Personally, we have had our annual April trip cancelled, but we hope to be back in the fall.

  18. I just don’t know what to do. We are supossed to fly into St. Thomas june 9th and I don’t know about waiting until the last minute to cancel:(

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