By Damien Martin
The flight service is starting to ramp up, and resorts are ready to greet you. It’s time to rediscover the Virgin Islands. The U.S.V.I. are open now, and yours to explore with either a negative PCR or rapid COVID-19 test received within five days of the start of your travel or a positive antibody test within four months of your travel.
We know new passport and renewal processing could take a while as the state department deals with a backlog. Fortunately, a passport isn’t required for U.S. citizens visiting the U.S.V.I. Once you arrive, the glories of the Caribbean are at your fingertips.
Avid divers have coral reefs and caves to explore under the clear blue waters. Adventurers will find national parks with backcountry perfect for roaming by jeep or on horseback. History buffs have an array of colonial-era forts to take in and rum distilleries to take a drink in. The beaches are pristine, except for the occasional sea lion or sea turtle popping out of the waves to say hello.
The food festivals may be off for now, but that doesn’t make the seafood any less delicious or the beach barbecues any less fun. Fabulous resorts such as the Virtuoso-preferred Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas are open and waiting to greet you with open arms. Sadly, fan favorite Caneel Bay on St. John is still renovating after the 2017 hurricane season and is not accepting reservations through 2021. But the U.S.V.I. remain a tropical paradise for family, solo and romance travel.
Soon enough, the holiday season will be here and the British Virgin Islands will be open for business. Travel is set to resume Dec. 1, though with strict testing protocols. Guests will take a PCR test within five days of departure and another on arrival. During the next four days, travelers will have to remain on the premises of approved resorts, taking a third test on the fourth day. After that, they’ll be able to travel to designated areas of the islands. Those staying longer than a week will take a fourth test on Day 8. If that is also negative, you’re free to roam about the islands. Visitors will pay for the tests (about $100 per test) and also need travel insurance and to download a contact tracing app at a cost of about $150.
With such protocols, the best option for visiting the B.V.I. sounds like your own private island, doesn’t it? Well, there are a couple of Virtuoso-preferred resorts that fit the bill in Necker Island and Moskito Island.
The Virgin resorts are just the slice of paradise your COVID pod needs with winter setting in. Equal parts adventure and tranquility, they’re excellent destinations for taking a load off, something we could all use after this year. If you can’t get a big enough group together for a private island, the charming Rosewood Little Dix Bay and its half-mile beach open Dec. 4.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-322-9481 to plan your island escape.