Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Officials in US Virgin Islands extend stay-at-home order until at least April 30. Travel restrictions remain in place until April 25.

This alert affects US Virgin Islands

This alert began 03 Apr 2020 21:05 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 Restrictions
  • Location(s): Territorywide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least late April
  • Impact: Entry restrictions, movement restrictions, transport and business disruptions

Summary
Officials in US Virgin Islands extended the order that requires residents to stay at home except to perform essential tasks, and nonessential businesses to close, until at least April 30, as part of the territory's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The measures have been in place since March 23. Residents can leave their homes only to obtain basic goods, attend a medical issue, or go to work at an essential business or service. Grocery stores, pharmacies, healthcare facilities, banks, and energy, media, security, and transport companies remain open. Restaurants can operate for deliveries and pick-ups only, while bars have been closed. Hotels and other lodging places are banned from receiving new clients through at least April 30, except for emergency personnel, flight crews or government guests. A travel ban is in place to all nonresidents through at least April 25.

Authorities may take additional measures in the coming days, especially if the spread of COVID-19 continues. The measures in place will significantly impact business and transport in the country, with larger than usual police presence in the streets. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by authorities in the US Virgin Islands are similar to actions taken by other governments globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic March 11.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in the areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int

Department of Health - COVID-19: www.doh.vi.gov/covid19usvi

US Virgin Islands Stay at Home Order: www.vi.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/2020-03.23-12-54pm-Order-Suppl-Exec-Order-re-Restrictions-to-Movement-Gatherings-Operations-of-Business-Govt.-and-Schools-fully-signed.pdf

US Virgin Islands Stay at Home Order Extension: www.vi.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/3rd-Supplemental-COVID-19-Exec-Order-002.pdf