Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: US Virgin Islands relaxes COVID-19 restrictions as of Sept. 9. Some movement restrictions remain in place.

Alert Begins 18 Sep 2020 09:23 AM UTC
Alert Expires 18 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Territorywide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions

As of Sept. 9, Governor Albert Bryan has relaxed some business and movement restrictions and will enforce safer-at-home orders in the US Virgin Islands (USVI) until further notice. The measures form part of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response and recovery plans. As of Sept. 9, the following safer-at-home measures are in place:


  • All nonessential businesses and service providers may reopen. Bars, however, must remain closed.


  • Restaurants may offer dine-in services subject to strict operating protocols and physical distancing requirements.


  • Indoor and outdoor recreational facilities may open, but may not serve food or drink.


  • Hotels and other places of accommodation may begin accepting new reservations and local guests; however, international leisure guests are not permitted to be checked in until Sept. 19.


  • All beaches will close by 1600 on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays; officials will make an exemption for fishers.


  • Gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 50 people instead of 10, including in places of worship.


  • Casinos and gaming establishments must remain closed until Sept. 19.


  • Private school campuses may reopen.


  • Individuals are required to wear face coverings during any gathering of people or at any commercial location.


  • All approved businesses and facilities are required to ensure that customers maintain a distance of 1.8 meters (six feet) from one another.


Some international travel restrictions are also in place. Leisure travelers will only be permitted entry from Sept. 19. All persons entering the USVI are required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken up to five days prior to arrival or be subject to a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine. Travelers will be subject to mandatory temperature testing upon arrival. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic March 11. While several governments globally have implemented recovery plans to lift restrictive measures introduced in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, authorities have also at times imposed highly targeted measures in localized areas or across territories, depending on local case numbers. Relaxed restrictions may be reapplied if the number of COVID-19 cases significantly increases. Likewise, a continued low number of cases may result in a further relaxation of restrictions.

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Avoid all nonessential operations impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments.

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.

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