USVI drops testing requirements for vaccinated US travelers

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USVI drops testing requirements for vaccinated US travelers

The U.S. Virgin Islands last week joined the wave of countries and territories relaxing COVID-19 protocols. As of March 7, vaccinated travelers from the U.S. no longer need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test in order to enter the territory. Unvaccinated travelers and those coming from other countries still must provide a negative test result.

It’s a move that will make it even easier for U.S. travelers to visit and vacation in a popular Caribbean destination. The USVI, which is a U.S. territory but sets its own COVID-19 protocols, includes St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas.

USVI Governor Albert Bryan announced the changes to the country’s protocol at a briefing, calling the updated protocols a “giant step forward.”

Restrictions still remain. On top of the testing requirements for unvaccinated travelers, the USVI still requires all travelers to complete its travel screening protocol. Additionally mask requirements remain in place on public transit and in indoor spaces, although the USVI did end its mask mandate for open air areas.

Like many tourism destinations, the pandemic has been tumultuous for the USVI. During the spring and summer of 2020, the territory closed to leisure travelers multiple times, before welcoming visitors back with stringent protocols.

USVI government officials made the decision to loosen the restrictions after seeing a drop in the number of new COVID-19 case.

“We have come a long way in the last two years,” Bryan said last month when announcing the changes. “Because of our collective efforts, we are here now taking this step forward to normal.”