CDC COVID-19 testing requirements do not apply for travel from the U.S. Virgin Islands to the U.S. mainland
[U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS] – Traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands? The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism is reminding travelers to use the Travel Screening Portal to submit the required COVID-19 test results prior to traveling to the Territory.
Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte confirmed that travelers five years of age or older who do not comply with the requirement and who do not receive clearance from the online portal will be unable to board an aircraft to the Territory.
“With new variants of COVID-19 circulating in recent months, it is essential to adhere to prevention and control measures since we are still in the midst of a pandemic,” he said, adding that travelers five years of age or older who arrive by marine vessel are also required to receive certification from the portal prior to arriving in the Territory.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel requirements
Commissioner Boschulte clarified that new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel requirements related to COVID-19 for all air passengers arriving in the United States. These requirements do not apply to persons traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands or returning directly from the Territory to the U.S. mainland.
The requirements, which go into effect on January 26, 2021, do apply, however, to international passengers arriving in the United States. This includes the U.S. Virgin Islands, from a foreign country (i.e., anywhere that is not a state, territory or possession of the United States).
Some states in the U.S. have enacted COVID-19 travel restrictions. This includes the need to provide evidence of COVID-19 testing within a specified period of time, for travelers entering (or returning to) that state. Hence, travelers departing from the U.S. Virgin Islands are advised to check with their intended destination to determine what, if any, COVID-19 travel restrictions or testing requirements are in place.
Here is a list of labs in the Territory that offer COVID-19 testing.
The tourism head reported that the Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands has processed close to 135,000 travelers since the Travel Screening Portal was launched in late July. “The technology undergirding the portal has been designed to be not only innovative but also responsive to changing travel protocols and the Territory’s health and safety guidelines,” said Commissioner Boschulte, who confirmed that the prescreening tool has helped to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the Territory.
Travelers Encouraged To Get Vaccinated
The Tourism Commissioner and public health officials in the USVI are encouraging residents and travelers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Travelers should continue complying with testing, mask-wearing, and social distancing requirements as the vaccination may limit the severity of COVID-19 illness. A vaccination does not prevent a person from being infected with the virus or spreading it to others. Travelers should note that vaccination does not supersede the Territory’s COVID-19 testing requirement.
Commissioner Boschulte underscored that travelers who originate in the U.S. Virgin Islands and return to the Territory, including those who return within a five-day period, must take a COVID-19 test before returning or have proof of a positive antibody test result within the previous four months. Virgin Islands residents are encouraged to arrange for testing at their intended destination prior to departing the Territory.