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U.S. Virgin Islands Clarifies Entry Requirements For American Travelers

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The U.S. Virgin Islands aims to clarify its entry requirements for American travelers. The renowned island updated its procedures early this month due to increasing travel demand from the mainland U.S. 

In a recent press release from the United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, the board announced that it is on a mission to educate travelers on the fact that the region is an American overseas territory and as such, travel to St. John, St. Thomas, St. Croix or Water Island is within the U.S. domestic jurisdiction.

tourist beach United States Virgin Islands

Hence, the CDC COVID-19 travel requirements do not apply to citizens traveling directly from USVI to the U.S. mainland. This means that Americans do not need COVID-19 test documentation to return to the U.S. mainland. 

Additionally, U.S. citizens traveling to USVI from the states or Puerto Rico do not require a passport for entry.

In this regard, the United States Virgin Islands Commissioner of Tourism,  Joseph Boschulte, stated:

“We, too, are American. The new requirements do not apply to persons traveling or returning directly from the U.S. Virgin Islands to the U.S. mainland. if you are leaving St. Thomas or St. Croix and you are heading to or returning to the U.S. mainland, the U.S. Virgin Islands does not require passengers to test.”

St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands

As one of the highly acclaimed destinations located in the continental United States, the Virgin Islands feature a group of Caribbean islands, geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago.

The U.S. territory recently reopened in response to rising popularity amongst Americans.

As stated by the USVI Tourism board, thousands of Americans have been arriving on the islands, by air and sea, despite the downturn in leisure travel since the start of the pandemic, validating demand for travel to the sunny destination.

tourists beach USVI

“As we continue to navigate these unprecedented times through the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s encouraging to see that the U.S. Virgin Islands is still top of mind among travelers,” said Commissioner Boschulte.

Granted the reopening, strict protocols and procedures have been set in place to ensure maximum safety for all its visitors.

Here are the updates travelers should know when planning a trip to USVI from the U.S. mainland.

mask traveler checkin desk airport passport

COVID-19 Testing and Requirements

Visitors aged five and above must present negative COVID-19 test results in order to obtain certification from the USVI travel screening portal which allows them to travel to the island within five days of testing. 

Those who are traveling within 24 hours must complete the form manually and present a paper copy upon arrival. Visitors are required to provide both their original test document and the travel certificate processed on the online portal.

Alternatives for entry include obtaining positive results for the antibody finger stick or blood draw procedures within four months of travel to the Islands. 

hotel staff mask temperature check

Health and Safety

Pertaining to health and safety, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel notice containing information regarding traveling to the Island during the current pandemic. 

The CDC has primarily advised tourists to avoid traveling to the destination at present due to the risk of virus transmission. However, tourists choosing to travel to the island must comply with specific rules and regulations: 

Wearing a mask in public areas, consistently washing and sanitizing hands in an attempt to minimize germs and physically distancing with other travelers has been urged by the CDC.

American Airlines JetBlue partnership

Flights

Flights arriving at USVI are constantly increasing due to the expansion of airline frequencies from the U.S.

JetBlue announced a new summer route between Newark (EWR) and St Thomas (STT). Frontier Airlines has launched a new service between Orlando and St. Thomas and will begin a twice-a-week Miami-St. Thomas route in March.

Delta Airlines offers weekly flight service through Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday between Minneapolis and St. Thomas while Sun Country Airlines issues weekly Saturday service for the same route.  

mask traveler

During Travel

While gaining entry requires protocols and procedures, staying on the island does as well. At present, the USVI is in a “Safer-at-Home” reopening stage, during which businesses are operating, but tourists are advised to be careful in observing all public health protocols.

Subsequently, facilities, amenities, and hotels are open to all visitors but require COVID-19 regulations, frequent temperature checks, and extensive hygiene in order to maintain disinfection efforts. 

Limiting outdoor activity is advised for all individuals residing in the Islands, while local, state and national authority’s requirements substantially vary.

U.S. Virgin Islands Clarifies Entry Requirements For American Travelers

“Due to COVID-19, there are more travel protocols and restrictions in place now than ever before, and we realize that travelers may be overwhelmed and confused by the different requirements established by local, state, or national authorities,” said Commissioner Boschulte. “Our team is here to help,”.

For more information please visit: usviupdate.com

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories


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Kurt

Tuesday 11th of May 2021

Does the finger prick test showing you have the Antigen in your body count? or do you still need a negative test ?

Gregory Homatas

Friday 26th of February 2021

The guidance in this article appears out of date. What about the entry requirements for people who have been vaccinated and are able to present a CDC vaccination card showing proof of vaccination? Please query the USVI tourist office and advise us.

ed

Saturday 27th of February 2021

@Gregory Homatas, Many are misinformed that vaccinations somehow mean that you cannot become infected by the virus, or spread the virus. Unfortunately, you can. It only makes you less likely to become seriously ill from the virus.

Kashlee Kucheran

Friday 26th of February 2021

Sorry, you must be mistaken - It's up to date and accurate as of today. The USVI has not made any entry requirement changes for those who've been vaccinated at this point. Less than 10 countries worldwide have. The USVI says directly on their site "evidence of vaccination does not supersede the covid testing requirement"