In an address to the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands yesterday, Governor Albert Bryan Jr. outlined a five-tier plan to reopen the islands for tourism by June 1, 2020. A stay at home order remains in effect until May 4 when things will begin to ramp up from a business and tourism standpoint.
The five-tiered system ensures that the transition back to normal happens at a safe pace. A “Safer at Home” order begins on May 4 meaning that the Governor is encouraging people to continue practicing social distancing through the month of May. The 100,000+ people who call the islands home are still required to wear face coverings whenever possible.
St. Thomas’ Five-Tiered System for a Return to Normal
The five-tiered system outlined by the Governor for a return to normal is below:
Red – Total quarantine
Orange – Current Stay-At-Home order until May 4
Yellow – Safer At Home order beginning May 4
Blue – Open Doors (hotel reservations and leisure guest bookings permitted; restaurants open for seating – anticipated June 1)
Green – New Normal
“We anticipate moving from this yellow stay at home status to the blue open-door status on June 1st. That is the date marked tentatively for the reopening of USVI to leisure travelers,” the Governor said during his address.
While the islands may be reopening slowly, the Governor stressed that people still need to exercise caution.
“We are encouraging vulnerable individuals to stay at home to the greatest extent possible. You are safer at home,” he said. “But I want to remind the general public that as we have loosened some of the restrictions, you too are safer at home.”
Baby Steps Towards Recovery
The USVIs are full of incredible resorts and hotels and for them to open to guests on June 1 would be a step in the right direction for a region hit hard by the economic impact of COVID 19. Not to mention the island of St. Thomas is one of the most popular for cruisers in all the Caribbean with some of the best retail stores in the region. It would be a big help to the local economy to get back to normal, but it remains clear that the health and safety of the people are the government’s top priority.