Travel portal launched to combat COVID-19 spread in the Territory and keep residents and visitors safe.
The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism announced the launch of phase one of a new online portal that will prescreen and assist with the certification process of all travelers prior to their arrival in the Territory to aid in the prevention in the spread of COVID-19.
The U.S. Virgin Islands Travel Screening Portal facilitates pre-arrival processing in the hopes of reducing delays and making the travel experience better for those wishing to enter the territory. The portal will among other things use artificial intelligence to automate the processing of lab results wishing to enter from highly impacted states. A highly impacted state is considered as having a COVID-19 positivity rate greater than 10 percent.
The portal will greet travelers and guide them through, general information, terms and conditions, and the COVID-19 Travel Screen Tool. The travelers upload their results and that information is processed in 24-48 hours and a certification code is then issued. The Virgin Islands Port Authority and assisting agencies such as the Departemnt of Health will then process the traveler on arrival- including temperature checked with a thermal scanner.
“Our team has been working tirelessly to adapt to a rapidly changing operational environment in this ‘Open Doors’ phase of the pandemic,” said Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte, “and we continue to update our practices and procedures as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health officials.”
Any traveler aged 15 and older whose home state (state of residence) has a COVID-19 positivity rate greater than 10 percent will be required to produce a negative COVID-19 antigen (molecular/PCR/rapid) test result received within five days prior to travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands or a positive COVID-19 antibody test result received within four months of travel to the Territory. Currently, residents of Puerto Rico are also subject to this requirement.
COVID-19 test results are also required from travelers, 15 years old and older, who have spent more than seven days in and are traveling from a state with a positivity rate greater than 10 percent. The positivity rates used are according to data and analysis from Johns Hopkins University: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/testing/tracker/overview.
The secure portal, a result of the coordinated efforts of the Office of the Governor, the Virgin Islands Department of Health, the Virgin Islands Port Authority, the Ports of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Department of Tourism can be found at www.usviupdate.com/travelportal.