With post pandemic travel to the US Virgin Islands at record breaking levels, potential visitors to the Territory want to know what to expect when you arrive to America’s Paradise. Certain restrictions are still in place here in the US Virgin Islands. Despite the restriction lifts taking place in other parts of the world, particularly in the US mainland, you don’t want to get here to find out you can’t leave the airport. Avoid this costly mistake! Here are three (3) things every visitor needs to know for post pandemic travel to the US Virgin Islands.
A Negative Covid Test is Mandatory
Vaccinated or not, every traveler aged five or older who enters the U.S. Virgin Islands, by air or sea, including anyone in-transit to another destination, MUST submit a COVID-19 test result prior to travel via the USVI Travel Screening Portal. COVID-19 test results MUST be submitted via the portal and NOT via email. Also, test results must be taken AND received within FIVE days of the start of travel to the Territory.
The COVID-19 tests that are accepted are:
A molecular test from a nasal, throat, oral rinse and/or saliva sample taken and NEGATIVE result received (BOTH within five days of the start of travel to the Territory) or
An antigen (rapid) test from a nasal or throat swab sample taken and NEGATIVE result received (BOTH within five days of the start of travel to the Territory) or
An antibody (rapid) finger stick or blood draw test taken and POSITIVE result received (BOTH within FOUR months of travel to the Territory)
What Does All of This Really Mean?
If you DO NOT submit one of the test results above to the USVI Travel Portal and receive your travel clearance (email with green QR Code), you may be denied boarding at the gate from your departure city.
In the unlikely event you bypass this checkpoint and board your flight without travel clearance, you will have to pay for a COVID-19 test upon arrival.
If you test positive (heaven forbid), you’ll be dealing with a whole lot more adventure than you bargained for on your trip.
I Don’t Want to Take No Stinking COVID-19 Test!
Whether you agree with this process or not isn’t up for debate! This is what is required in order to safeguard the residents and other visitors of the Territory. BONUS TIP: St. Croix has approximately SIX (6) ventilators at the Juan F. Luis Hospital and Medical Center – SIX! If the island were to experience an outbreak, only six people can access these ventilators at any given time. Do you really think YOU will get access to one of the ventilators as a visitor? Let’s not try and find out, shall we? Take your COVID-19 test, upload the results to the USVI Travel Portal, get your travel clearance and proceed to enjoy your vacation!
Click here for more details about the requirements and read THE ENTIRE travel advisory on the page! This will save you from receiving inaccurate information from message boards, Facebook groups and comments section on Beyonce’s Internet.
We can’t say it anymore plainly than this – NO MASK, NO SERVICE! This means EXACTLY what it says. If you enter a business without wearing a mask covering your mouth AND nose, you WILL be denied service. Whether you go into the restaurant, the supermarket, the gift shop or the beach bar, you MUST wear your mask! Stop asking us WHY we require a mask. Did you miss the part above regarding the six ventilators? Basic math says the ratio of ventilators to the number of people on island DO NOT MATCH.
We politely ask that you do the responsible thing and abide by the safety requirements that are in place. The threat of COVID-19 is still very much real; we’d like to maintain the lives of the residents on the island. Besides, who wants to deal with a virus outbreak on vacation? Short answer – nobody. Wear your mask and enjoy your vacation!
BONUS TIP: Masks aren’t required to be worn when walking around outside or on the beach. You can also remove your mask once you are seated at your table in a restaurant.
You’ve uploaded your test results and packed a fashionable array of masks to match your vacation attire! Now it’s time to make a plan for your trip and BOOK EARLY! It might seem like you’re being shouted at as you read this article and you would be right. Imagine that I’m standing in front of you (with a mask on, of course) shouting at you to BOOK EARLY.
“Cruzan Foodie, what does that even MEAN???” I’m thrilled that you asked! This means the following items need to be reserved early and booked WELL IN ADVANCE of your trip:
The number of visitors coming to the Territory is up by almost 100%. This is not a storybook exaggeration. You run the extreme risk of not being able to enjoy many of the things that convinced you to book your trip to the Territory in the first place if you don’t book early.
Imagine you’ve had your heart set on eating your way around the island on this five-star food tour. You’ve read all the reviews and can practically taste the food when you think about it. You wait until you arrive on island to purchase your ticket. You go to the website to book your tour and no tours are available for the remainder of your stay. In fact, there aren’t any tours available for the remainder of the month or even the NEXT MONTH. How is that even POSSIBLE? It is very possible, my friend! Save yourself the heartbreak; book your excursions early and make dinner reservations in advance too.
BONUS TIP: Take the earlier dinner reservation between 5:30-6:30pm. Why? Less people mean less hassle in the kitchen and more attentive service from the staff. You’re welcome!
If you heed the advice of these 3 tips, your trip to St. Croix, St. Thomas and/or St. John will be one for the books! From adventure seekers and fanatical foodies to beach bums and history buffs, the US Virgin Islands has something for every person coming to the Territory for a visit. Don’t forget to visit www.usviupdate.com for the latest information regarding post pandemic travel to the US Virgin Islands. Grab your sunscreen and flip flops and a stack of your finest face masks. We can’t wait to welcome you to our shores!
Anquanette Gaspard is a food and travel entrepreneur, freelance writer, blogger, and social media influencer, based in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Anquanette uses her blog, CruzanFoodie.com, and social platforms to share her experiences in a way that is authentically Caribbean.