The Latest on What’s Happening on St. John

The Latest on What's Happening on St. John 1
Francis Bay

Hello everyone, and happy Wednesday! We made it to the middle of the week! It’s been a bit since we’ve updated you on what’s happening around the island, so here’s a quick little update.

As of today, May 13th, there have been 69 positive COVID-19 tests in the US Virgin Islands. There were two on St. John back in March. Since then, there have not been any positive cases on the island. St. Thomas has had 38 confirmed cases, and St. Croix has had 29. There have been six COVID-related deaths in the US Virgin Islands. Three of those deaths were from the same family, which is absolutely tragic.

As of today, the US Virgin Islands plans to move to its “Open Doors” phase on June 1. At this time, accommodations will, once again, be able to accept new guests. (Currently hotels, villas, Airbnbs, etc. are unable to check in new guests. This began back on March 24.) This means that tourists can once again visit the island per the government beginning on June 1. Gatherings will be limited to 50 people at that time, which we believe will include all restaurants and bars. The move to the Open Doors phase on June 1 is subject to change. Should that happen, we will let you know immediately.

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I’ve received numerous emails asking about restaurants and what specifically will be open. As of today, it appears that the majority (if not all) will be open on June 1 and moving forward. Numerous restaurants are open today and are offering to-go food. Beginning June 1, restaurants will be able to offer in-house dining once again. But again, it is likely that they will be limited to 50 people at a time and that includes staff.

Regarding our annual seasonal closings – many restaurants and bars close because of hurricane season which starts June 1 – it is too soon to know who will close and when. We just need to get through this first, and then businesses can make a decision on that.

The British Virgin Islands government announced that non-residents will not be able to visit their islands – Jost Van Dyke, Tortola, Norman Island, Cooper Island and Virgin Gorda are all part of the British Virgin Islands – until sometime around September 1, 2020. This means that charter boats are not allowed to bring guests to the BVI until then.

I’ve been asked repeatedly how residents feel about visitors returning to the island. Truthfully, there are mixed feelings. On one hand, residents are ready to welcome visitors as our economy relies heavily on tourism and the island has been suffering financially due to COVID-19; And on the other hand, many people are extremely apprehensive about the idea of visitors returning and potentially, if not likely, bringing the virus with them. As of today, the majority of residents still have not received a stimulus check; the majority of residents have not received unemployment checks (although I do know some that received their first check this past Monday, so that’s progress!); and the majority of small business owners have yet to receive a PPP or SBA loan. So in that regard, people are looking forward to tourism resuming. But are people fearful that St. John will see an increase in COVID-19 cases once visitors return? Unequivocally, yes.

Now let’s talk flights. As with everywhere, flights to the airport on St. Thomas (STT) have been scaled back dramatically due to COVID-19. As of today, American Airlines looks like it will resume daily service from Miami on June 5. Currently they are flying here roughly 5-6 times a week. Delta does not appear to be resuming its daily service from Atlanta or New York until July 2 and July 3 respectively. United is also offering a flight between Newark and STT, and a flight between Washington DC on seven days in June. Spirit is flying its Ft. Lauderdale to St. Thomas route on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays only for the month of June. JetBlue has scaled its flights back too. So it may prove challenging initially to visit the island from a flight perspective should you choose to.

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Delta’s current calendar as of May 13, 2020.
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Spirit’s flight calendar as of May 13, 2020.

(These are examples and are subject to change.)

And with that, I think I will end this post right here. I will do my best to answer your questions in the Comments section or over on our Facebook page. Have a wonderful day everyone.


Have you entered our 2020 raffle? For just $20, you can enter to win a five-night stay at Aquamare at Grande Bay plus $1,000 courtesy of 340 Real Estate Co.! All proceeds will benefit the Animal Care Center. Get the details and buy tickets here: www.newsofstjohn.com/were-holding-another-raffle


29 thoughts on “The Latest on What’s Happening on St. John”

  1. For those that have canceled flights Renters should maybe consider flying into Puerto Rico and then taking silver airways or cape air or even JetBlue to fly to St Thomas.

    • I don’t see anyone speaking out so I will – I am very concerned about visitors coming here. It’s seems there is already an influx. It started weeks ago with the homeowners escaping the lockdowns in the states and arriving via helicopters….. just today I saw rental cars leaving the Westin and since they pulled out onto the wrong side of the road I d guess they aren’t from here….I’ve also seen two different visiting couples in starfish with their masks around their neck while shopping. I worry visitors think things are “different “ here and we are more laid back about this……We are too fragile of a community To just open up to outsiders. Things have been under control at this point and I give major Kudos to our Governor for shutting things down before we had a problem but nothing has changed since then. It is crazy that we’re are allowing people from highly infected states to come here with just a temperature check and no quarantine? What happens when they start feeling sick the following day after they just did a full day of activities being around others? We need to Take a cue from the Bvi- they have the right idea and are protecting their citizens- we shouldn’t open up to outsiders until Next fall…open things up for locals but we are gonna have a disaster on our hands if we pretend this thing has passed……yes the economy is bad now- but if we have to shut completely down again it will be even worse……

    • So happy to hear that things are returning to ‘somewhat’ normal on the island. I know that those who live and work there are looking forward to the tourism picking up. How devestating this must be after just barely recovering from the hurricanes. I, myself, can not wait to return to beautiful St. John!

  2. I’m so upset to hear about BVI not opening till Sept. We have a trip planned to USVI in July for my birthday. :((( Thank you again for the update.

  3. We are eloping in July with our kids, 8 people total plus one officiant and one photographer. If we get married on the beach do we have to wear masks? Or wear masks while laying on the beach?

  4. Thank you so much for all the information you provide on this page. As someone who has not visited the island of St John, I am hoping to keep my trip this year but understand the islands worry due to lack of medical facilities. Thank you again.

  5. Hi, you might want to check on the United flight info………..we had a flight July 1 from Dulles that was canceled. Nothing going out of that airport until July 6. Not sure about anywhere else.

  6. We are planning on visiting on October 22…can you tell me how many restaurants etc will be closed for hurricane season?

  7. We have reservations in St. John on June 1st but we are going to have to cancel because we can’t get a flight in. American canceled 3 of our flights throughout the month of April and May. So we finally booked a different flight with Delta. They just cancelled our flight yesterday. I have been waiting for hours to talk to someone on the phone at Delta … it’s impossible.

  8. Thank you “Concerned Citizen” – I could not agree with you more. In addition to the fact that visitors will be arriving from many different places and we are approaching hurricane season I believe that it is totally wrong to open up to visitors just yet and wish that we would follow the example of the BVI. I fully understand the economic situation – it affects us all but it will affect us more when the number of cases of the virus increases from 6 to 10 – 20 or more. We cannot afford this to happen.

  9. First, a big Thank You for always keeping everyone connected to what’s happening on our beloved St. John! We were just there in February. We have enjoyed visiting for over 20 years now during July. We have a trip planned for July. As sad as it will be, we doubt that we will end up coming. That decision will be more than likely based on the feelings expressed in “concerned citizen”. Thankfully St. John has thus far been spared what we are experiencing in New Jersey with Covid19. Why would any of us want to potentially and unknowingly take the chance of bringing this horrid disease to St. John! As difficult and devastating as this whole pandemic is to everyone’s medical system and economy, St. John’s fragile medical system should not end up being tested. Stay safe and healthy.

  10. Unfortunately, our flights on Delta out of JFK were cancelled yesterday. We have villa reservations June 28 to July 5 and can cancel up to the day before, fortunately. Delta is showing nothing into STT. We fully intend to go and are looking for alternatives now. Obviously, we would take all intelligent precautions and also would not fly if not feeling well. We would also quarantine if we started showing symptoms once in St. John.

  11. Hello,
    Trying to replan our destination wedding to St thomas. We are planning for beach ceremony and rented a private villa for a reception. Less than 40 guests. What is the policy regarding beach weddings, specifically in regards to facial coverings and social distancing? Any other insights would be immensely helpful as we try to replan.

  12. Honestly, June 1 is WAY too early to open up. There are so many CRAZY people on the mainland (especially in TX) who are flouting the rules and the cases have SKYROCKETED – many states (especially in the South) and the FL Gov who just don’t believe it’s a real threat. Experts have said that it may increase in late summer and fall at bigger rates. Everyone is hurting – everyone – and we all wish it was over – but if everyone could just try to hang on a couple more months to get the cases to really drop – and the chances for some anti-viral drugs to be introduced – everyone would be better off. I hate to say it but you can be sure the cases will reach double digits+ on St John once the allow an influx of protestors form the mainland – who haven’t been following the rules, wearing a mask, nor social distancing. The can still carry the virus in – without showing any signs. I hope the Governor reconsiders.

    • Many people I know, love and care about have not received any money since March. No stimulus. No unemployment. No loan. Nothing. So no, they simply cannot “hang on” for a few more months. I am not advocating for or against the June 1 opening. Just letting you and others know how desperate the financial situation is on the island.

      • This hypocrisy is even worse. People who are self-righteously lecture everyone online for “killing the granma” have either a job, or a plentiful safety cushion or a pension or all of the above. “Coincidentally” these people can afford to stay inside (like myself, I make a lot of money working from home, I’m actually more productive here). Who they lecture are people having nothing as you say, and at the same time having no option to stay at home. These are the “essential workers” who keep our country afloat, while we bask in our “horrible-horrible isolation” and ordering champagne through Instacart to soothe our pain.
        UCSF did a research on actual “class profile” of infected persons in San Francisco and around. Most of these people can not afford a ticket to STT.
        But privileged “well-intentioned” hypocrites can’t let them make ends meet, because they want to feel themselves saviors of the world.

    • Mike, where do you get your data about SKYROCKETING?
      Florida, being governed by a smart person, like the USVI, went from 35 new cases per million to 34 (2 weeks ago vs. last 3 days average). Is that “skyrocket”? It looks like the rocket is in the horizontal flight phase, slowly descending into the atmosphere.

  13. We had our honeymoon scheduled for earlier this month but canceled due to covid. We are thinking about rescheduling for Sometime September-November. But, we know that hurricane season is from June to November. Can someone please let us know how risky is it to come during this time? Also, are there a lot of places closed during these months? We have never been to St. John’s so any advice is appreciated.

    Thank you!

    Emily

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