US Virgin Islands ends all COVID restrictions for American travelers
The United States Virgin Islands are ending COVID restrictions for domestic travelers. This change will happen next week as first reported by the US Virgin Islands Department of Tourism to the website Travel + Leisure.
Starting May 31, the territory will become “Open Door.” This means that domestic travelers will no longer be required to fill out the USVI Travel Screening Portal. This comes from an executive order by Governor Albert Bryan. It will apply to each of the islands in the territory. This decision comes alongside a similar action by Puerto Rico. US Overseas territories are hoping to capitalize on post-lockdown travel. This is to kickstart their once flourishing tourism economy.
“The health and well-being of our residents and visitors alike continue to be our biggest priority,” said Joseph Boschulte, the commissioner of tourism. “The Department of Tourism along with Governor Bryan’s Office and the Virgin Islands Department of Health, have worked together to closely track the COVID cases in the territory. …steps that will ensure the health and safety of our residents and visitors. Our measures have proven successful…so that we can continue to safely welcome visitors”
For the Virgin Islands, this move also has political repercussions. As the territory prepares for its gubernatorial election this November, COVID policy is a big issue. Especially for Governor Bryan’s main political rival Kurt Vialet. The following comes from a May press release. “Senator Vialet is calling on the Governor to reinstate some of the mandates used to manage this deadly disease…to a less than 5 percent positivity rate.”
This comes after the stop of pre-arrival testing for domestic travelers who are vaccinated. Unvaccinated domestic travelers are still required to show proof of a negative COVID test within 5 days of arrival. If you’re coming from a non-US territory, you still need to show proof of a negative test. You’ll also have to use the travel screening portal.