Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Carvin Malone has announced the relaxation of Covid-19 Protocols in the Virgin Islands.
Effective 15th April, there will now be no quarantine requirements for anyone entering the Virgin Islands and wearing a mask outdoors is no longer required.
On 13th April Cabinet met and approved the following changes to the COVID-19 protocols to take effect from 15th April.
- Fully vaccinated persons who do not have an rt-PCR or a rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours of arrival will be required to have a rapid antigen test on arrival.
- Partially and unvaccinated persons arriving in the Territory will no longer be required to quarantine and will be administered a rapid antigen test on arrival. PCR tests will no longer be administered at ports of entry.
- Face masks are only required to be worn by persons over the age of five (5) years in indoor spaces when within three feet of other persons. Facemasks are no longer required in outdoor spaces and are now a matter of individual choice.
- The restriction of one person per nine (9) square feet is now removed.
Honourable Malone announced that “these relaxation in protocols are in keeping with international and regional norms given the less severe impacts of the new variants, the current capabilities of the health system, the ready availability of vaccines, balanced with the need to continue to allow increasing levels of economic activity moving forward.”
The Minister further stated that with these new relaxed measures further responsibility is shifted towards the public in taking personal responsibility to manage and mitigate their own risks associated with COVID 19.
All other requirements remain unchanged, including use of the entry portal for partially vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers, along with the requirement of health insurance.
Minister Malone continues to advocate the use of public health measures like washing and/or sanitising your hands (~20 seconds) covering coughs and sneezes regardless of vaccination status and cleaning and sanitising frequently touched surfaces.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Ronald Georges also emphasised that persons who do become infected with COVID-19 should quarantine for a period of at least seven (7) days of testing negative at Day 7 with an antigen test and up to ten days if they continue to rapid test with positive results to limit the potential for spread to others.
The Health Emergency Operations Centre – Unified Command will continue to monitor the situation locally, regionally and internationally and would continue to provide sound advice on appropriate measures to be considered in light of the ever-changing dynamics of the pandemic.
The Government of the Virgin Islands is committed to improving the health of the people of the Virgin Islands.