Governor Bryan Issues Travel Restrictions For Individuals Traveling From Arizona, Florida, and Texas

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS — Governor Albert Bryan Jr. said during his weekly COVID-19 update that beginning Monday, July 13, individuals who are residents of, or whose travel to the territory originated in Arizona, Florida, or Texas must present test results showing they are negative for COVID-19 or positive for COVID-19 antibodies upon their arrival into the territory.

Tests should be taken within 72 hours of arriving in the U.S. Virgin Islands, or visitors can opt to take a test when they arrive. Individuals who do not show test results or take a test locally must go into a 14-day quarantine.

After two weeks, the new travel policy will be reassessed to determine whether states need to be added to or removed from the list.

“I must note that we had had only three tourists who had tested positive for the virus since June 1, when we reopened,” Governor Bryan said. “We as locals need to be vigilant about our family and friends returning home and insist that they get tested before they come and limit their interaction with the general community for 14 days no matter where they are coming from.”

The Governor said the policy applies to residents of the three states on the list, or to individuals who have spent more than 7 days prior to travel to the territory in any of those states, and not to travelers who are passing through, such as to change planes in Fort Lauderdale or Miami.

“This recent spike in COVID-positive cases in the territory is alarming, yes. But this is what we have been preparing for,” Governor Bryan said. “We built up our capacity and are in a much better position to handle this now than we were in early March. We continue to find ways to expand our testing capacity. We have more beds, more ventilators, and more data on how to control spread and battle surges.”

Limetree Bay Refinery

The Governor also said that increased safety measures have been put in place at the Limetree Bay refinery on St. Croix.

Effective immediately, there is a temporary hold on incoming travel of new contractors into the territory. The refinery also has instituted controls on the movement into and out of the man camp and is trying to restrict as much as possible the people leaving and returning to the facility.

“We continue our efforts to guard against an outbreak in the facility, and after an emergency meeting this weekend with the management of Limetree, we have implemented increased measures to keep the employees and our community safe,” Governor Bryan said.

COVID-19 cases

  • Currently tracking 27 active cases
  • 3,231 individuals tested to date
  • 3,118 of those tests were negative
  • 112 tests came back positive
  • 56 tests are pending
  • 6 fatalities to date
  • One COVID-19 patient is hospitalized at Juan F. Luis Hospital on St. Croix.
  • No COVID-19 patients are hospitalized at Schneider Regional Medical Center on St. Thomas.

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22 thoughts on “Governor Bryan Issues Travel Restrictions For Individuals Traveling From Arizona, Florida, and Texas”

  1. In Texas it is impossible to get results from a PCR test within 72 hours. Currently results are taking 10-12 business days. The requirement to have PCR must take into the reality of what is possible. Otherwise just say we can’t come. Without such a prohibition we stand to lose thousands of dollars in airfare and hotel deposits. Is that how you want to treat your guests?

  2. Elizabeth Tucker

    Good Morning. For those visitors that opt to take a test once arriving on island, how quickly would they get results back? Would those same visitors need to quarantine until results are produced? Will you be tracking those in quarantine? Thank you for your time.

  3. Garrett Ellis

    Hi,

    I’m planning on traveling to St Johns on 7/15 from Dallas, Texas. Due to an influx of tests here in North Texas test results are taking 7-10 days to get back, which makes getting a test and the results within 72 hours impossible. Taking a test upon arrival makes the most sense but I’m curious how long it will take to get the results? I’m only there 7/15-7/21. Should we expect to get the results before our departure date if we take the test on 7/15 upon arrival? Thank you in advance for your timely response.

  4. I have a Boy Scout Troop traveling to Sea Base on Wednesday, July 15 and need to know if the rapid test will suffice for travel documentation.

    Thank you,
    Terry

  5. J Michael DaShiell

    If I am traveling from Arizona with my family to STT. With Covid tests taking up to 7 days and 5 days on average, how would we get a test with results in 72 hours? Is it acceptable to have the test a week in advance in order to have the results I time for travel to USVI?
    Thanks

    1. Michael P Frascella

      I’m planning on going from St Thomas to St Croix for the weekend, I’m a St.John resident, did I need testing?

  6. We are arriving next Friday and scrambling to figure out testing. Could anyone answer these questions? Thank you so much!
    1) Are you allowed to use rapid test results or only PCR?
    2) Are you allowed to have the test results within the 72 hours or does The test have to be administered within that time frame?
    All of our PCR testing takes 5-7 days for results.
    3) Are you allowed to use LabCorp mail in test or does your test have be given in person.

  7. Nicole Phillips

    Can a Covid 19 Rapid (antigen) test be used? The PCR tests are taking over a week to get results back which makes it impossible to get tested within 72 hours of your travel and have results before arriving.

  8. Chad Descotraux

    What are the regulations regarding rapid tests for arrivals for the impacted states? Is the rapid test admissible? Will testing be completed at the airport for those without test results, and will visitors be required to quarantine until results are received? We need a lot more information than what has been provided, and the governor’s speech alone does not answer many of these questions or others. Please provide SPECIFIC updates during this time of uncertainty for all on the islands.

  9. Good morning! We have guests coming in from Florida in two weeks. They are having difficulty finding somewhere that does not have 72 hour testing because of the high demand. They are only here for 5 days. What happens on arrival into St. Thomas if they don’t have negative results yet? Do they get escorted somewhere? Do they get “tagged” so a taxi will not take them to their destination? How will this be enforced.? We are ready to just cancel anyone’s reservations that come from Florida.

  10. This is unfortunate as there is no test site which will provide results that quickly (within 72 hours) for people who do not have symptoms. It’s hard enough to find a testing site without a referral from a doctor first. So my only option is cancel the trip/ forfeit the cost or go, but be quarantined the entire time.

  11. I am a pilot flying private jet into TIST airport. Dropping off 4 passengers and returning to Florida. We are from Texas, stopping in Fort Lauderdale for fuel and processing on to TIST. The two pilots will fuel plane and depart with in 1 hour. Do we , the pilots , need testing? Do the people need testing? If they do not get it ahead of time, how long does the testing take there at the airport before they can enter and go to their hotel? Please let me know asap, thank you for helping me with this so I can advise the passengers.

  12. Captain Paula Sonneneberg

    I am flying into St Thomas on the 13th to resume my position as captain onboard a private yacht located in Yacht Haven Grand. I have been to North Carolina since June 24th and I am heading to Sebastian FL to catch my flight in ORLANDO, FL. I was just made aware of the restriction today.

    Can you tell me what will be the protocol for testing for the COVID upon arrival into St Thomas will involve? Nobody seems to know. I have contacted several departments, including the Department of Health USVI with no answers. My original plan before returning on board the yacht with a crew of 9, is a self quarantine for July 13 to July 21 in a villa along with a COVID test aimed for Tuesday the 14th and results expected the following Friday the 17th. This was planned so I can depart for St Maarten with the yacht on the 18th or 19th depending on weather.

  13. They could be from those states and travel to another to come to St Croix. They don’t have to leave from their home state.

  14. It is impossible to get tested 72 hours before arrival into USVI since test results are taking 7 to 10 days. If we wait to be tested there, how long until the results come back? We are scheduled to arrive July 22. We are getting tested tomorrow so that we can have at least one test result with us even though it won’t be within your timeframe. Please advise. We are a lot of money invested in this vacation. Thank you

  15. Thomas W Albano

    Finding rapid testing sites can be difficult. My question, or interpretation of the new restrictions, including the testing is the term “should”. The Governor states “Tests should be taken within 72 hours of arriving in the US Virgin Islands, or visitors can opt to take a test when they arrive”. The term “should” infers some flexibility I believe. It is practically impossible to undergo a test and get the results within the 72 hour window that has been put into effect. Testing results are received more in the 5 to 7 day period of time from the date of testing. In addition, rapid test results have been found to be not as accurate as PCR testing or the antibody tests. I believe that be using the term “should” rather than “shall or must”, the 72 hour period possibly has some leeway to allowing a slightly longer period of time between undertaking the test and receiving the results.
    Also I am of the opinion that people who are flying nonstop from other areas of Florida, not necessarily South Florida, to the USVI, are less likely to arrive to having contracted the virus than those people who are flying from other states, who are deplaning in either Miami or Ft. Lauderdale, areas with the highest concentration of cases, waiting in the airport terminal to continue their travels onto the USVI.
    I understand the complexity of the issues you are facing, however I felt it necessary to raise the points with you.
    Thank you for allowing me the oppotunity to submit this document

  16. Dear Governor Bryan, My husband and I live in Florida and will be traveling to St. John via American Airlines to St. Thomas. We will be staying at the Westin for 13 days. I understand that we must have a COVID test within 72 hours of our arrival to St. Thomas. We do not have any objection to the testing policy but I understand that test results in this state take up to 4 to 7 days to receive the results. So my question is, do I just need proof of testing or do I need the actual results when entering the territories. Thank you for keeping us safe.

  17. Hello Sir,
    My name is Beth and I would like to inquire about travel policies and quarantine for the near future. I realize these are ever changing times and that they will continue to do so for some time. We are traveling from Louisville, KY the second week of November. What are the current requirements and timeframes for COVID testing?
    Thanks so much for your time,
    Beth

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