It’s become one of the biggest hassles in travel: the return test.
For nearly a year, the CDC required all returning American travelers to show proof of a negative test (antigen or PCR) within 72 hours of coming back to the US.
Earlier this month, the CDC tightened that rule, meaning all returning travelers have to show proof of e negative test within one day of departure — meaning a test the last day of their trip.
In the US Virgin Islands, however, the rules do not apply — meaning travelers can forego the return test since they’re already in the United States to begin with.
“We are 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,” said US Virgin Islands Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte.
“We recognize that with new travel mandates, there can be a lot of misunderstanding of the rules,” he said, adding that it is very important for tourism industry stakeholders to continue educating the traveling public that “we are part of the United States.”
What it all means is that as much of the Caribbean scrambles to increase testing capacity (and turnaround times), travelers in the US Virgin Islands can spend the last days of their vacations in peace.
Of course, while returning travelers don’t need to test, American travelers over the age of five coming to the US Virgin Islands need to show proof of a negative PCR or antigen test, taken and received within five days of travel to the USVI.
The US Virgin Islands has led one of the best-managed tourism reopening in the wider Caribbean, anchored around its Travel Screening Portal (you can find it here).
That’s led to one of the strongest tourism industry rebounds in all of the region.
For more, visit USVI Update.