Unexpected news coming out of the US Virgin Islands as they revert back to their ‘Orange alert’ (“Stay-at-Home”) due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.
When the US Virgin Islands announced their reopening details back in May the Governor did say that they would adjust if necessary. This current announcement by the Governor stated that this closure will be for the next two weeks and it will then be reevaluated.
What this means for the US Virgin Islands and Tourism:
- Effective immediately, all non-essential businesses and churches are ordered to cease operations
- The public, including non-essential public sector workers, are ordered to stay at home
- Hotels, villas, Airbnb accommodations, guest houses, temporary vacation housing and charter vessels and similar businesses have been ordered not to accept or book any new reservations for 30 days.
- Accommodations providers are barred from admitting or checking-in any guests for 30 days unless the order is lifted sooner
- Reservations are only being accepted for business travelers, flight crews, emergency personnel, and government workers with written authorization from the relevant government agency they are visiting
- Effective now and lasting until August 31 unless lifted earlier – all restaurants in the Territory can offer only takeout, delivery or drive-thru service
- All bars, nightclubs and cabarets are to remain closed as long as the Territory remains in a State of Emergency
Virgin Islanders in the Territory and abroad are encouraged to travel only for urgent matters to help limit the contagion into and out of the US Virgin Islands.
“We appreciate the concerns of our tourism partners and stakeholders, however, with the recent spike in cases we are seeing, especially in the St. Thomas-St. John district, we must reset, take stock, safeguard human life, and prepare for restarting our tourism economy at a later date,” said Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte, as he spoke about the difficult but necessary decision.
Updates from the US Virgin Islands can be found here.