The U.S. Virgin Islands has been open and allowing tourists in for a while but with the NEW U.S. travel policy requiring U.S. Citizens to have PCR tests when returning to the U.S. there has been some confusion. Let us clear this up for you and give you a little information on how to safely travel here during COVID 19 and just how “OPEN” for business we are on the island of St. Croix, where Symbiosis Diving Tours and Travel is based.
Here’s a Quick List, Details Below
- U.S. Citizens do NOT need a passport.
- If traveling from the U.S. You must upload a negative PCR, an Antigen test within 5 days of commencement of travel or a positive Antibody test obtained within four months prior to the commencement of travel.
- If you are a U.S. citizen and traveling from a foreign country you must upload a negative PCR or Antigen test within 3 days of commencement of travel.
- You do NOT need a PCR test to return to the USA nor do you need to quarantine. Unless your final destination (see more below for a list of States) requires it.
Travel Restrictions to Get to the USVI
If you are a U.S. Citizen you do NOT need a passport to travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands. The U.S. Virgin Islands is requiring all travelers ages 5 and up arriving in the US Virgin Island to present a COVID-19 negative test result (PCR or Antigen) obtained within 5-days* of commencement** of travel to the US Virgin Islands or a positive Antibody test obtained within four months prior to the commencement of travel. Prior to travel, you must upload your results to the USVI Travel Portal. Specifics of acceptable tests are also listed on this Portal link.
*If you are a U.S. citizen traveling from a foreign country you must have a valid PCR or Antigen test within 3-days prior to travel.
**What that means is no more than 5 days before you fly you must get your test. You must have your test results back and uploaded before you check-in for your flight (i.e. You are scheduled to depart for the USVI on Friday. You must take your test sometime between Sunday-Thursday and upload the results to the portal no later than Thursday).
Travel Restrictions from the USVI to the U.S. Mainland
As you can see here at the bottom of page 3, the recent CDC COVID-19 travel requirements DO NOT apply to persons traveling directly from the US Virgin Islands to the U.S. mainland. Since the U.S. Virgin islands is NOT a foreign country this policy is NOT applicable. However, the state (or local health department) you are traveling back to MAY have its own restrictions so you should click here to check that states policy.
My Return Destination Requires a PCR Test, What Should I Do?
Testing on St. Croix is simple and straightforward. For $95 (or acceptable insurance) you can go to the Plessen Urgent Care in Sunny Isles – open 7 days a week – get your test done, and have it back by 3pm the same day.
USVI Open for Business
The USVI has been open for tourism for a while and eager to welcome you. There are some government COVID-19 protocols in place (in addition to the WTTC – World Travel Tourism Council’s global safety stamp and protocols) but with a little observance and patience, you can still have a great time on St. Croix. You’ll find most businesses are open, we’ve even had a few new restaurants open during the last few months! We still have regularly scheduled events taking place like live music, trivia and bingo. The St. Croix calendar has a weekly list to help you plan for your time here. If you can, try and make reservations as most establishments can only operate at 50% capacity. Dive shops are operational and dive boats are going out on their regular schedules. Take a look at the Symbiosis St. Croix Dive and Hotel Package page for special rates.
Many operators and tour companies are open and eager to show you our island. Are you ready for lunch and rum punch on the beach after a day of snorkeling at Buck Island National Park, or maybe you’ve always dreamed of riding horses on the beach? Are the Tide Pools on your list; maybe take a 4×4 Jeep tour to see them and some of our famous historic sugar mills. There are so many options, it’s not possible to do them all in a week’s vacation. Check out some of the excursions on the links above and come on down. St. Croix is open and waiting for you to come and see our little slice of paradise!
NO Mask NO Service – The government has put a strict no mask no service policy in place. So make sure if you are indoors (taxis, hotel lobbies, walking to your dining table…etc) you are wearing your mask. All service personnel are required to wear masks for your protection. Businesses and patrons not following the protocols can be fined if caught in violation. Non-household members are encouraged to social distance at least 6′ wherever possible. Please remember this is a government policy and in order to stay open all businesses must follow this policy, if you don’t like this policy please don’t take it out on the employee or business owner – like you, they’re just doing what they need to do to stay open.
Protecting Yourself and Traveling to St. Croix After You’ve Tested
You’re almost here and ready to get a rum drink in your hand and your toes in the sand but before you come you may want to think about taking extra precautions while traveling. Who wants to get all this way and come down with a cold or worse?!?
By now you’re probably used to the routine, I mean you stayed healthy enough to pass the PCR test right? And let’s face it most airlines have HEPA filters recirculating the air. However, traveling in a steel metal tube and waiting in enclosed airports and in close quarters can have it’s challenges too. Here are a few tips.
Not all masks are created equal and all airlines are requiring you to wear them. But did you know that you CANNOT wear a mask with a breathing valve, hole, or vent? That’s right! Since the purpose of wearing a mask is to prevent you from spreading germs, the airlines will require you to wear a mask that helps stop the spread. Consider using an N95 or surgical mask that fits properly. If you don’t have those available to you, a cloth mask will do.
When you get here you can buy refills of Mutiny vodka hand sanitizer, made by our local distillery. But until then you should travel with your own supply and keep those hands sanitized and washed! Do you ever wonder how flight attendants stay healthy, having to fly day in and day out??? They wash their hands, sanitize and disinfect their seat armrest, tray table and surroundings when they travel.
Speaking of disinfecting. It’s a good idea to get in the habit of wiping down your rental car and hotel room upon arrival. Although local car rental agencies and hotels have a strict protocol for disinfecting it’s always a good idea to look after yourself and your loved ones.
Travel Insurance is always recommended and it’s a good idea to double-check your airline, hotel and rental car cancellation policies. Most are pretty relaxed during this pandemic but forewarned is forearmed, perish the thought that Murphy’s Law jumps up and bites you on the butt!
Just a little added incentive here’s a recent search, airfares are cheap! As of 2/15/2022, here’s an example of round-trip airfares to St. Croix from the following destinations (terms and conditions apply, prices subject to change).
So, now you know. Please be safe and enjoy your island experience! And don’t forget to check out our specials.