Governor’s Update: Mid-May is “Best Case Scenario” for Visitors to Return

Governor's Update: Mid-May is "Best Case Scenario" for Visitors to Return 1

Well folks, I wish I had more information to share with you all. The Governor just concluded today’s press conference, and we did not learn too much. Here are a few highlights:

  • The Governor mentioned the possibility of opening up the US Virgin Islands to tourism potentially in mid-May. His exact words were: “We don’t really see expanding our outside visitor capability at least until mid May, best case scenario.”
  • The current stay at home order expires on April 30th. The Governor has not extended the stay at home order at this time. The Governor stated: “I would like to remind the public that we were never closed, so come Friday, we are not reopening, but just broadening the scope of what businesses and recreation can be conducted safety. We will continue to be vigilant and use all the information and resources… (sound cut out) …respect your personal freedom and most of all keep you and your family safe.”
  • The Governor said he is looking to balance three things: public safety and public health, the economy, and personal freedom. “Over the next few weeks and perhaps months, we will try to optimize the balance of those three things,” the Governor said. 
  • The current state of emergency expires on May 12th. The Governor stated that he plans to ask the legislature to extend the state of emergency to July 12.
  • All incoming airline passengers are being checked for high temperatures.

 

30 thoughts on “Governor’s Update: Mid-May is “Best Case Scenario” for Visitors to Return”

  1. Sounds kind of vague to me. And checking temps won’t help if someone is positive but not yet exhibiting symptoms. Sure, it’ll weed out a few but…..

  2. This is so vague. I feel the frustration. Our governor was super vague today, too. It’s so unhelpful. It’s so hard. We just want to get to St. John! But patience is a virtue I know….we’ve been looking still for November and February since it’s still really vague about late May. Hugs!

  3. “The current state of emergency expires on May 12th. The Governor stated that he plans to ask the legislature to extend the state of emergency to July 12. ” Does that mean no one can enter the island until after that date?

  4. Appears he is looking for reasons to stay closed, not re-open. Good-bye June, now July at risk – “at least mid-May, best case” ? The economy and personal freedoms are being held hostage to an overblown health threat. There is no balance as he professes to seek. The business community is not being proactive, they are letting this happen to themselves.

  5. Not sure what to do … reservation for the Westin for week of May 25th. I guess I’ll wait to hear from the Westin as to whether they are accepting guests as of that date.

  6. Good Evening . The Governor is incompetent . He keeps mentioning ” personal freedom “, since when does anyone have the right to take away the freedom of a US citizen ? This whole thing has gone to his head !

    • I think the Gov has been doing a decent job so far. Things are pretty much under control. I pray he does not allow tourists here at least until June or July. If the stats in the states have not improved by June then why allow tourists here. Gov please stay diligent.

  7. I was supposed to be flying to St. John tonight! I am grateful the Governor was decisive. Made my plight easier. We’ll be flying down 4/27/2021. Glad you can see some light at the end of this tunnel.

  8. Since when do governors have the right to take away our civil liberties & force us to stay under house arrest? Why are we not rebelling?

  9. I don’t see the governor opening up things until August/September at the earliest–by then hurricane season will be upon us. I just think he is going to keep kicking the can down the road. Unfortunately, it is not feasible to lab test every passenger on every flight to the islands. If he is truly waiting for this capability, the Islands will be closed to tourists for a long time. I feel sorry for the many businesses that are reliant on tourism. The Federal dollars are only going to last for so long.

  10. Hey I too am sorry about what is happening to the entire world, but are any of you who are planning on coming down in June July or August planning on wearing a mask, and social Distancing? I love St John. This is sad for all of us. Terrible. But if your not planning to isolate, wear a mask, social distance, and not mingle around then stay home!! This is absurdity. This is a worldwide pandemic and you’re worried about a vacation?? This is not going away until we have a vaccine and any taking flights, TRYING to go back to normal is a potential sickness, or at worse death sentence for not only you, but all of us. THINK. LISTEN. Facts are stubborn things. If you don’t mind being mandated to stay in hospital for 2 or 3 weeks in St Thomas, or infecting all of St John than go for it!!

  11. Mike Sullivan has it right. The Governor is delusional if he thinks he can safely open in May. Tourists, be smart. Wait til it is safe for you, and then it should be safe for us. This might be in many months if Virgin Islanders state taking social distancing and mask wearing seriously.

  12. I don’t envy the governor, but that is why he gets the big bucks. I do, however, believe it is now time to be decisive. It’s no good in so many ways to leave the public including residents, local business owners, and vacationers floundering in the dark. In his position he has the best info available to put out a firm timeline to bring the islands back online. This is especially true for the no “checking in of guest” order. This needs addressed immediately and certainly prior to April 30th. Does matter if he lets it expire or extends it- it needs addressed.

  13. Based on information above, as of today, the stay at home order is until April 30th, two days away. The state of emergency is until May 12th. Nothing officially changed on Monday.

    • Other than being “thru” April 30, that is correct.
      Link to governors executive orders: https://www.vi.gov/executive-orders/
      *I could not find any mention within these documents that extended the governor’s “no-guest” order thru April 30, which was originally set for 30 days beginning March 25th, which would be through April 23rd by my math. I would have thought any such change would need documented in writing.

      The most sorrowful thing here is that this Covid-19 will be with us for many-many years, basically forever for most of us. There will not be a vaccine; that is a fairy tail. Maybe a Covid-19 shot like the “flu” shot, which does not guarantee anything.

      • Ppl the reason you see him extending is bc they have gotten zero money from feds. The only way he can get to unemployment is thru the feds. VI’s have no “state” money for that. Same as sba, PPP, edic, etc. If they release the state of emergency, feds won’t send any $. And this close to hurricane season, opening would bring back the tourism money compared to the grants

        • Understood. The State of Emergency [SOE] could remain in place even if he relaxes or lets expire the “Stay at Home” and “no-quest” orders. These are directives the Governor was/is authorized to put in place because of the SOE.

          Now, if the SOE is still active whenever the Stay at Home/No-quest orders are relaxed/expired (i.e. opening-up under provided guidelines), this would have no impact on getting the funds from the Feds beyond the difficulties he is having now in getting them.

          With that I feel he should relax the no-guest order this week, May 12 at the latest. By relax I mean put some controls on how many guests are allowed on the islands, (in addition to any testing/temperature checking that can be done), but how to limit guests is a big question. For a while there would be natural controls on the number of guests as a huge number of vacationers have cancelled or rebooked for later this year or even next. I would say for the next 3 months go to a “no new reservations” order, but allow those with reservations to come to the islands if they want.

  14. I don’t think it hurts to provide a little context for the “we’re all gonna die crowd”. For ±85% of the population, those infected with coronavirus will be asymptomatic or have mild symptoms and are at very low risk. The vulnerable demographics include anybody with an underlying health issue, geezers in general, and especially the typical nursing home resident. In Houston [the city itself with 2.3 million people, not the greater Houston metropolitan area], we have had [at last count] a total of 42 virus-related deaths. Looking, for example, at the white, non-Hispanic [in Texas English, “Anglo Caucasian”] demographic, there have been 10 deaths among the 42 total. Of those only one did not have an underlying conditon. One of the 10 deaths was in the 60s category, and the other 9 were spread among the 70s, 80s, and 90s. So, coronavirus is generally a targeted disease. [ok…a little bit of Captain Obvious here.] However, considering the number of geezers among visitors and residents of St John in conjunction with the horribly fragile local healthcare system, it’s a good idea for “normal folks” to avoid the USVI for a few months. Waiting on a cure-all vaccine really isn’t practical if there is any hope for a viable economy on the other side of this worldwide tragedy, but it is reasonable to expect viable treatment and extensive testing to be available long before a vaccine arrives. That together with established social distancing and other sanitizing precautions will probably determine when tourisim can return with some semblance of normalcy.

    My wife and myself [both in our 70s, long-time visitors, and residents of St Croix in 1973-74] have a mid-June trip planned with our usual stopover in San Juan. I haven’t canceled our United and AA flights yet, but only because I like to give the airlines every chance to make the first move. That makes the call to customer service a bit easier.

    We’ll be back…..when the time is right for everybody.

  15. I wish I’d been there Monday to ask him to clarify the statement:

    VI Governor:
    “I would like to remind the public that we were never closed, so come Friday, we are not reopening, ….”

  16. Amen to Mike Sullivan!
    And to Ms. Buffington- rebel is a very strong word, I would consider the history of this Island before I casually toss words like that around.

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