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Despite loosening restrictions, US Virgin Islands sees COVID-19 cases decrease

by | Aug 4, 2022 | Coronavirus, United States Virgin Islands | 0 comments

As of June 1, 2022, the United States Virgin Islands has ended COVID-19 travel restrictions for domestic travelers. Previously, completion of the USVI travel screening portal and presentation of an approved green QR code, up-to-date COVID-19 vaccinations, and a negative test were necessary for travel. Now, the territory has transitioned into an “Open Door Phase.”

In a statement provided to Travel and Leisure, Joseph Boschulte, the commissioner of tourism, said “the health and well-being of our residents and visitors alike continue to be our biggest priority. The Department of Tourism along with Governor Bryan’s Office and the Virgin Islands Department of Health, have worked together to closely monitor the COVID cases in the territory and strategically take steps that will ensure the health and safety of our residents and visitors. Our measures have proven successful and give us the confidence to continue to ease travel and testing requirements to the territory so that we can continue to safely welcome visitors.”

Domestic Travelers returning home don’t have to fulfill any testing requirements after visiting the US Virgin Islands as it is a US territory. However, international travelers 18 and older, including Americans from foreign countries, are still required to show proof of vaccination and a negative PCR test within 24 hours of travel. Even travelers from the British Virgin Islands, a neighboring territory about 30 minutes to 1-hour ferry ride away, are required to show the same proof as from other foreign countries. 

The US Virgin Islands removing pandemic travel restrictions is exactly what happened in Puerto Rico, which stopped all travel restrictions for domestic travelers in March. These travel restriction changes make traveling easier for domestic travelers as they can travel to the US Virgin Islands just as easily as they would travel to any American state.

While many would expect COVID-19 cases to rise due to the lessening of restrictions, cases have actually continued to go down. The daily average of cases has actually continued to decrease from 103 on June 1 to 36 on July 20. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gaelle Jean-Pierre

Gaelle Jean-Pierre

Gaëlle Jean-Pierre is a senior in high school from Southern California. She intends to major in political science prior to going to law school in the future. At her school she is involved in the Advanced Choir Council, Mock Trial, Student Government as Executive Director of Equity and Inclusion, Amnesty International Club as Treasurer and Speech, and Debate Club as Treasurer. She also founded an Entrepreneur Club. She is passionate about acknowledging cultures that are inadequately represented as she has lived in 5 different countries, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, the British Virgin Islands, St. Lucia, and the United States of America. In her free time, Gaëlle enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family, and singing. She is a US Virgin Islands Affairs Intern Correspondent at Pasquines.

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