Joining the ranks of Caribbean locations easing journey restrictions as soon as extra, the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) introduced not too long ago the pre-departure testing requirement is being lifted for vaccinated Americans visiting from the mainland. The transfer follows an accentuated drop in Covid instances because the U.S. territory rides out the Omicron storm.
Shortly after Omicron was flagged as a variant of concern in late 2021, the USVI was fast to implement stricter well being protocols at its ports of entry, particularly regarding home arrivals from different U.S. hotspots. Now, the Omicron-induced restrictions are being rolled again, and vaccinated U.S. vacationers can once more get pleasure from unrestricted entry to the islands.
The New Entry Protocols For Tourists Visiting The USVI As Of March 7, 2022
Although it’s a U.S. territory, the Virgin Islands have some autonomy relating to measures imposed at its borders, particularly relating to well being and security dangers. For that purpose, all through the pandemic, they’ve enforced stricter entry regimes in comparison with U.S. states or different territories, together with testing mandates for home arrivals.
However, since March 7, 2022, there have been essential updates to their entry regime affecting guests from the mainland United States and different American territories. While testing was beforehand a requirement for all vacationers, those that maintain a legitimate vaccination card, and are arriving from wherever within the U.S. now not want additional proof of a damaging check.
As listed on the USVI official website, the acknowledged vaccination schemes are the next:
- AstraZeneca/Oxford (at the very least two doses)
- Covaxin (at the very least two doses)
- Covovax (at the very least two doses)
- Johnson and Johnson (one dose)
- Moderna (at the very least two doses)
- Nuvaxovid (at the very least two doses)
- Pfizer/BionTech (at the very least two doses)
- Sinopharm (at the very least two doses)
Travelers who have been vaccinated not too long ago, when at the very least 14 days haven’t but elapsed for the reason that completion of a certified vaccination scheme as outlined above, nonetheless don’t qualify for restriction-free journey to the Virgin Islands. Similarly, those that are partially vaccinated, or haven’t been vaccinated in any respect, should nonetheless submit a damaging check earlier than flying.
Accepted assessments are both PCR or different acknowledged NAAT assessments, or speedy antigen. However, in contrast to many locations within the Caribbean which have shorter testing home windows, the USVI permit home guests who don’t but qualify as being absolutely vaccinated to submit a damaging check inside 5 days of touring.
Can Vaccinated International Arrivals Also Enter Without Testing?
While immunized Americans arriving from a U.S. departure level can once more journey to the USVI with out present process testing, all classes of worldwide vacationers should nonetheless submit a damaging Covid check and observe a sequence of different necessities, that are depending on quite a few elements, together with vaccination, age, and transportation mode.
In line with normal U.S. entry guidelines for international guests, the USVI requires all flight arrivals to current a legitimate damaging check, both PCR or speedy check, inside 24 hours of journey. Additionally, worldwide vacationers have to be absolutely immunized and be capable to current to each airport, and border authorities, a legitimate vaccination certificates.
When coming into the USVI from overseas (e.g. on a world flight or cruise ship departing from a non-U.S. Caribbean vacation spot) American residents should comply with entry guidelines set out by the U.S. Government. This means they’re nonetheless topic to testing in beneath 24 hours when crossing again to a United States territory from any exterior entry level.
Regarding journey by ferry, the official web site states worldwide arrivals have to be vaccinated and current a damaging check. When arriving within the USVI from a world port, American residents should current proof of vaccination and take a check inside 5 days of departure. Travelers aged 2-17 are exempt from the vaccine requirement.
As a new mega cruise ship terminal in Miami is ready to grow to be the largest within the United States, ferry journey to the Virgin Islands and several other different sunny locations within the Caribbean is set to extend. Nevertheless, guests are nonetheless suggested to examine each their Covid and visa necessities, that are nationality-based, previous to boarding a USVI-bound vessel.
Important Information Both Domestic And International Travelers Should Know
All of these eligible to go to the USVI testing-free should enter their journey data on the Travel Screening Portal previous to boarding. If arriving from the U.S. mainland or different U.S. territories, this requirement applies to vacationers aged 5 and older, whereas worldwide arrivals require a submission from age 2.
On the Portal, vacationers are anticipated to enter their private particulars, journey plans, and reply honestly to a Covid questionnaire. On the final step, guests should tick both the vaccinated or unvaccinated (with different legitimate Covid documentation) field. They should additionally add all of the related certificates to the platform.
How Easy Is It To Travel To The Caribbean Right Now?
While quite a few locations in Europe and Asia imposed strict entry guidelines for Americans, to various levels, in numerous phases of the pandemic, a lot of the Caribbean has remained comparatively open from the onset of the disaster. Even now, touring to some international locations in Europe is still not hassle-free, prompting IATA to advocate for the lifting of remaining restrictions.
On the opposite hand, locations like Costa Rica and Belize have famously eased entry necessities. Bordering the United States, Mexico went so far as removing the dreaded PLF form, and Jamaica has additionally abolished its Covid-era Travel Authorization program and the necessity for post-arrival quarantine for sure vacationers.
With guidelines being eased and several other U.S. airways ramping up their Caribbean schedule this week, it appears the particular bond between American vacationers and the area is stronger than ever. As a part of the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands is not any exception, providing even simpler and much less bureaucratic trip alternatives than many within the Caribbean Sea.
In order to go to an island within the territory (both St. Thomas, St. John or St. Croix) mainland Americans don’t want to hold a passport and, as of March 7, are not topic to pre-departure testing as long as they’re vaccinated. For extra data on journey to the Virgin Islands, we advise our readers to comply with official steering via this link.
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Disclaimer: Current journey guidelines and restrictions can change with out discover. The choice to journey is finally your accountability. Contact your consulate and/or native authorities to verify your nationality’s entry and/or any adjustments to journey necessities earlier than touring. Travel Off Path doesn’t endorse touring towards authorities advisories