U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS - The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism is on a mission to educate travelers that the Territory is an American overseas territory, and as such, travel to St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas or Water Island is within the United States’ domestic jurisdiction.
Though not part of the contiguous United States, travel to the USVI does not require a passport from U.S. citizens arriving from Puerto Rico or the U.S. mainland.
“We, too, are American,” reminded Commissioner Joseph Boschulte as he and his team work around the clock to clarify misunderstanding of recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel requirements related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic for all air passengers arriving in the United States.
“The new requirements do not apply to persons traveling or returning directly from the U.S. Virgin Islands to the U.S. mainland,” he said. However, passengers traveling by air from St. Maarten or the British Virgin Islands, for example, are subject to the CDC’s three-day testing requirement “because they are coming from a foreign country and their first point of entry into the United States is either St. Thomas or St. Croix.”
“But if you are leaving St. Thomas or St. Croix and you are heading to or returning to the U.S. mainland, the U.S. Virgin Islands does not require passengers to test,” said the Commissioner, who explained that the USVI’s testing requirements are for domestic travel to the Territory, for example, from Miami to St. Croix, or from Dallas to St. Thomas.
All travelers five years of age or older must use the Travel Screening Portal at usvitravelportal.com to submit the required COVID-19 test result prior to traveling to the Territory. Travelers are required to provide evidence of a negative a COVID-19 molecular or antigen test result taken within five days of commencement of travel to the Territory or a positive antibody result received within four months of commencement of travel to the Territory.
Despite the downturn in leisure travel since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of Americans continue to visit the islands, arriving by air and sea, validating findings by both Squaremouth.com and KAYAK, of an increase in demand for travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“Due to COVID-19, there are more travel protocols and restrictions in place now than ever before, and we realize that travelers may be overwhelmed and confused by the different requirements established by local, state or national authorities,” said Commissioner Boschulte. “Our team is here to help,” he offered, advising travelers to visit usviupdate.com for more details, and to check with their intended destination or state of residence concerning specific COVID-19-related travel requirements for arriving there.