US Virgin Islands reopen for tourism
For those of you who are entertaining the thought of going on vacation this summer, you may be able to glean some hope. On June 1, the United States Virgin Islands officially rescinded its restrictions on incoming travel as part of its response to the global Coronavirus pandemic.
The ban on tourism was implemented in late March. Thus far, there have been 69 reported cases, with four confirmed fatalities. The territory, which has been in a tentative state of emergency since March, will remain so until at least Mid-July. Foreign nationals will be able to experience the natural scenery and amenities of Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas for the full duration of their stays.
But, there’s also a catch. Areas, where people congregate in large numbers, will be allowed to operate, but only within reason. Eateries, such as bars and restaurants for example, will be permitted to function, but cannot allow buffets or live entertainment to occur within their facilities.
As has been customary, the donning of face masks by guests and employees will remain mandatory. Hotels will be required to record information of guests relating to COVID-19 outbreaks. If any guest is revealed to have symptoms of the disease, they will need to self-quarantine for two weeks. Lisa Hamilton, president of the USVI Hotel & Tourism Association, says that senior hotel executives like her are doing all they can to make sure that both the islands make themselves welcoming to foreign nationals while simultaneously protecting public safety. “Our goal is to ensure our visitors have a wonderful and safe experience when they visit the USVI, Hamilton remarked. We have extensive safety protocols to ensure this. Visitors can enjoy restaurants, bars, beaches, boat rentals, activities, and attractions. We are temperature checking via thermal imaging on arrival and this will be communicated to [visitors].”