Considering that much of the U.S. is dealing with cold, snowy conditions, a trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands sounds pretty good right now. If you are planning that island getaway, there are some new travel guidelines you need to know about.
All domestic travelers — those arriving from the U.S. mainland or other U.S. Territories — must now provide proof of a negative COVID-19 antigen or PCR test taken within 3 days of travel, the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) explains.
All non-U.S. citizens and non-U.S. immigrants who are traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands by air must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination status. They also must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 antigen or PCR test taken within 1 day of travel.
If they are traveling by sea, non-U.S. citizens and non-U.S. immigrants must be fully vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination status. They also must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 antigen or PCR test taken within 3 days of travel.
The updated protocols, which were recently announced by Governor Albert Bryan Jr., have been put in place to “ensure that visitors and residents are protected as much as possible, given the rapid spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant,” the governor said.
The U.S. Virgin Islands
The U.S. Virgin Islands, a U.S. territory, is a group of islands and islets in the Caribbean known for their white-sand beaches, reefs, and beautiful hillsides. Although there are numerous islands, the main islands are Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas.
According to the New York Times COVID-19 database, 51 percent of the eligible population in the U.S. Virgin Islands is fully vaccinated.
It should be noted, though, that 1,235 new COVID-19 cases were reported on January 3, however, it is possible that number was inflated due to a backlog of cases over the New Year’s weekend, according to the New York Times’s data. Then, 424 new cases were reported on January 4, which represents a 1,805 percent increase over 14 days, the New York Times explains.
In addition to the new COVID-19 test date requirement, all domestic travelers 5 years of age or older, and all international travelers 2 years of age or older who enter the U.S. Virgin Islands by air or sea are required to use the USVI Travel Screening Portal and receive permission to travel to the USVI.
The Travel Screening Portal, which may be found here, is used by the government and assorted agencies. The data entered by travelers is then used to “screen, trace, categorize, and potentially monitor travelers to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the territory,” USVI explains.
Know Before You Go
If you are planning a trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands, keep in mind that there are no vaccination or testing requirements for travelers leaving USVI and heading to the U.S. mainland.
“We are an American overseas territory, and as such, travel to St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas, or Water Island is within the United States’ domestic jurisdiction,” USVI Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte maintains.
Be sure to read the rest of our U.S. Virgin Islands coverage, including: