As St. Croix reopens to tourism as the COVID-19 restrictions are eased, we want to make sure visitors know what to expect when arriving to St. Croix and the USVI. It’s more important now than ever to follow the governmental guidelines for safe travel and to take responsibility for our own health, as well as the health and safety of those around us. As the US Virgin Islands welcomes visitors, we’ll share the top island wide safety precautions, healthy travel practices, and what you can expect during your stay.
U.S. Virgin Islands Travel Screening Portal
The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism launched phase one of the new online portal that will pre-screen and assist with the certification process of all travelers prior to their arrival in the U.S. Virgin Islands in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The portal allows for pre-arrival processing, thereby improving efficiency, reducing delays, and providing a more seamless traveler experience. The next phase will integrate mobile optimization for the portal, followed by a hybrid mobile application launch, and artificial intelligence to automate the processing of laboratory test results from travelers visiting from highly impacted states and territories. The secure portal can be found at www.usviupdate.com/travelportal.
The USVI Department of Health and the USVI Department of Tourism have partnered to provide a hotline with answers to all COVID-19 related questions for those travelling to the United States Virgin Islands: (800) 372-8784.
Top Safety Precautions
- Masks or facial coverings: “No Mask, No Service” is the current motto here in the USVI for all businesses, accommodations and public areas, so please come prepared.
- Social distancing: All businesses are required to physically distance patrons. Please keep 6 feet away from others both indoors and outdoors, including on the beaches.
- Sanitizing and disinfecting: All businesses are following strict safety and hygiene protocols and frequently sanitizing all frequently touched surfaces. Do your part by washing your hands often, and covering your cough/sneeze with your elbow or a tissue. Use hand sanitizer or hand wash stations wherever they are provided by restaurants, shops, transportation operators, and businesses.
What To Expect on St. Croix
For the highlights, you can download our flyer on what to expect on your trip to St. Croix:
- You will be screened and have your temperature taken at the airport
- You will be required to complete a Travel screening Questionnaire
- Passengers may be screened and quarantined by the Department of Health based on initial screening and questionnaire results
- ALL travelers coming to St. Croix, including residents returning home, must come with a COVID negative PCR test that was taken within 5 days of travel. Individuals who do not show test results, or take a test locally, must go into a 14-day quarantine.
- All taxis, buses, and limos are operating at only half of capacity
- Vehicles are being cleaned and disinfected at frequent intervals
- Drivers are wearing a mask/facial covering
Effective September 18, 2020, hotels, villas, Airbnb accommodations, guest houses, temporary vacation housing, charter vessels and similar businesses may accept new reservations and check in new guests.
Restaurants & Bars:
Restaurants may offer dine-in service, with the following restrictions:
- No serving of alcohol at bar counters;
- No seating of more than 6 persons per table;
- Tables must be 6 feet apart, and;
- Patrons must wear masks at all times when not eating or drinking;
- All bars remain closed at this time.
Retail Businesses & Attractions:
Retail stores and attractions are operating with social distancing and facial covering restrictions. Many stores also offer online shopping, see our Shop St. Croix Online page for more information. Casinos and gaming facilities will be able to reopen on September 19, 2020.
Healthy Travel Practices
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends travelers exercise the following healthy travel practices whenever traveling:
- Wash hands often, or use hand sanitizer if you are unable to wash your
- Cough/sneeze into your elbow or into a tissue
- Consult with a doctor before traveling when sick
- Stay up-to-date on vaccinations
- Avoid contact with people who are already sick
- Avoid contact with animals while traveling
- Be aware of the latest travel advisories from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. State Department
Travel From the US Virgin Islands
Currently New York state is requiring all individuals traveling into NY from the US Virgin Islands are required to quarantine for 14 days. Be sure to check with your final destination to find out if you will be required to quarantine after your stay here on St. Croix.
For up-to-date information on US Virgin Islands travel information, please visit usviupdate.com.
While traveling to the US Virgin Islands, we want everyone to please stay safe out there. Whether you are a resident of the island, or traveling to St. Croix for a visit, focus on doing the simple things that will keep you and those around you safe and healthy. As always, safe travels!
-Jennie Ogden, Editor