In another reversal for travelers looking to enjoy the beaches of the Caribbean, the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) are now off limits for Americans. The U.S. territory had opened itself to mainland American travellers; however, in an abrupt reversal USVI is now closed to vacationers because of an uptick of novel Coronavirus cases.
Governor Albert Bryan said that USVI is moving to its orange level in its response to COVID-19. “This means that effective 6:00 a.m. Monday all non-essential businesses are ordered closed,” Mr. Bryan said. “Non-essential public sector workers are also to remain at home. This phase of alert will continue for at least the next two weeks, at which time we will re-evaluate whether it is safe to advance again to the yellow alert: Safer at Home.”
This past Thursday, hotels were ordered not to accept new reservations. This morning, August 19, 2020, taxicabs and safaris were ordered to operate at half their capacity, residents are ordered to stay at home, non-essential businesses and churches must close, restaurants are allowed with only delivery, take out, and drive-through services. Bars and nightclubs are closed. Hotels, Airbnb, etc. may not take any reservations for at least 30 days with the exception of business travelers, emergency personnel, flight crews, and government guests.
Under the Governor’s order, mass gatherings (10 people or more) are prohibited except for emergency personnel or other essential services. Beaches will only be open from 6:00 AM through 12:00 pm.
Violators of the Governor’s order could be charged with a misdemeanor or in the case of a business, potentially losing their license to do business.
The order will remain in effect through August 21, 2020, at which time Governor Bryan will re-access and either let the order expire or renew.