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The U.S. Virgin Islands Are Now Open To Tourists
Your summer island dreams no longer need to be put on hold. As of June 1, the U.S. Virgin Islands have reopened their borders to visitors.
According to caribjournal.com, of the three islands in the USVI — St Thomas, St Croix, and St John — St. Croix has the most hotels currently open, including such prominent properties as the Hotel Caravelle, The Buccaneer, Sand Castle on the Beach, and The Fred, among others.
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“Like most Americans, we are cautiously optimistic about re-opening the territory to tourism,” says Topher Swanson, co-owner of The Fred, an 11-room boutique hotel in Frederiksted, to caribjournal.com. “Although not scientifically proven to prevent COVID-19, many of the things that people come to the Caribbean to enjoy — wide open spaces, fresh sea air, plenty of UV sunlight, etc. — are things that many people naturally believe can be used to fight the spread of COVID-19, so I can’t think of a healthier place to be right now.”
But, if you are planning a return visit, things won’t be exactly as you remember them. Buffets and live music will be banned at restaurants and bars, for example. Children’s recreational areas will remain closed. Mini-bars in hotel rooms will be shut down. Employees and guests will be required to wear masks in public areas. Social distancing mandates will include six-foot seating separation at dining establishments as well as poolside. And any guests who show symptoms of COVID-19 will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
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“Our goal to ensure our visitors have a wonderful and safe experience when they visit the USVI,” said Lisa Hamilton, president of the USVI Hotel and Tourism Association. “We have extensive safety protocols to ensure this. Visitors can enjoy restaurants, bars, beaches, boat rentals, activities, and attractions. We are temperature checking via thermal imaging on arrival and this will be communicated to [visitors].”
If you decide to make the trip this summer, be sure to check out the CDC’s most current recommendations on travel before you head to the airport.