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VACATIONING DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

Stay Safe and Healthy!

USVI TRAVEL ADVISORY:

January 19, 2021

All travelers, 5 years of age and older,  to the Territory must use the Travel Screening Portal at www.usvitravelportal.com to submit the required Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) test results prior to traveling to the Territory.  USVI Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte confirmed that travelers who do not comply with the requirement and who do not receive clearance from the online portal will be unable to board an aircraft to the Territory.  Additionally, all travelers five years of age or older who arrive by marine vessel are also required to receive certification from the portal prior to arriving in the Territory.  Travelers should produce their original test result and travel certification received from the portal upon arrival for examination by local officials.

Acceptable COVID-19 test results can be obtained from:

  • a COVID-19 molecular (e.g., RT-PCR, viral or nucleic acid amplification) test from a nasal or throat or saliva swab sample taken and NEGATIVE result received (within five days of commencement of travel to the Territory)

  • a COVID-19 antigen (rapid) test from a nasal or throat swab sample taken and NEGATIVE result received (within five days of commencement of travel to the Territory)

  • a COVID-19 antibody finger stick or blood draw test and POSITIVE result received (both within 4 months of commencement of travel to the Territory)

Commissioner Boschulte clarified that new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel requirements related to COVID-19 for all air passengers arriving in the United States do not apply to persons traveling or returning directly from the U.S. Virgin Islands to the U.S. mainland. The requirements, which go into effect on January 25, 2021, do apply, however, to international passengers arriving in the United States, which includes the U.S. Virgin Islands, from a foreign country (i.e., anywhere that is not a state, territory or possession of the United States).

The Tourism Commissioner and public health officials in the USVI are encouraging residents and travelers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and to continue complying with testing, mask-wearing, and social distancing requirements as the vaccination may limit the severity of COVID-19 illness but does not prevent a person from being infected with the virus or spreading it to others. Travelers should note that vaccination does not supersede the Territory’s COVID-19 testing requirement.

At Governor Albert Bryan Jr.’s weekly press conference on January 14, 2021, he confirmed that the ‘Safer At Home’ phase of the USVI re-opening strategy would continue.  This means that most businesses that were deemed non-essential for the purposes of the public health order have now been allowed to re-open.

Just as in most other places in the country, the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the territory is climbing. Holiday gatherings, a busy few months of visitors and residents moving in and out of the territory and some lax enforcement of these mandates at private events has combined to drive the territory positivity rate up despite the government’s application and enforcement of mask and social distancing mandates and airport screenings. The concentration of on-island activity and Holiday travel and gatherings by residents and visitors alike have resulted in a rise in cases territory wide.  There is currently no curfew in the Territory but bars, restaurants and other businesses must close by 11 PM.  

 Per the Governor’s previous statements, restaurant and bar guests must be seated at a table, served by wait staff, and must not be allowed to stand around the bar counter, order from the bar, or congregate around the bar or outside of the venue.  Seated patrons may order food, alcohol, or both, as long as they are seated at a designated table with adequate social distancing. Restaurants with bars are no longer mandated to sell and serve food simultaneously with alcoholic beverages.

Restaurants must continue to adhere to the following guidelines.

  • No serving alcohol at bar counters at any restaurant or business

  • No seating more than six (6) persons per table

  • All tables must be six (6) feet apart

  • All employees must wear proper facial coverings at all times.

Customers must wear a mask or proper facial covering when entering the restaurant. However, they can take off the mask while eating and drinking. “Once you are seated, you can take off your mask, but once you get up to move around, your mask must be on,” said Governor Bryan.

Hotels, Vacation Rentals and other lodging businesses continue accept leisure travel guests.  Beaches are all open with no restrictions.  However, it is still prohibited to raft boats at beaches and for boat parties.

Finally, the Governor announced that permissions have been granted to local low enforcement to delve out fines to individuals who are not complying with mask and social distancing mandates.  It is a universal order in the Territory and its public spaces that any two people who are not of the same household need to wear a mask.  The fines could be as much as $1,000 per individual.

WE WELCOME YOU TO ST. JOHN

 

Now that we are once again open to visitors, it is important that all visitors know that we are committed to providing a safe environment that aligns with expert protocols for mutual protection.  Visitors are reminded that face coverings are mandatory when entering all businesses, stores, restaurants and markets – when in doubt – Wear Your Mask! Visitors can be assured that our rental properties all meet or exceed current cleanliness and disinfection standards necessary to help protect our guests, staff and island residents from the COVID-19 virus.  We have modernized our guest arrival process to allow for optimal social distancing procedures and use of face coverings needed to ensure the safety of our guests and all our staff members.  Our goal is to provide for the seamless transfer of guests from public transportation on St. Thomas (airlines, taxis and ferry boats) directly to their private vacation rental on St. John.

Travel and Island Expectations

The United States Virgin Islands has implemented COVID-19 TRAVEL PROCEDURES for all travelers to the territory.  Please review the current travel guidelines at the following link while making your travel plans and prior to your arrival:

https://usvitravelportal.com/

For daily updated information on all US States Covid-19 positivity rates go to https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/testing/testing-positivity.  

The travel form required to enter the USVI can be downloaded on the site above or here at https://usviupdate.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Travel-Form.pdf.

Additionally, the Governor of the Virgin Islands holds regular press conference announcements (normally at 1 pm on Tuesdays) which can be viewed at www.facebook.com/GovernmentHouseUSV.

 

UPDATE ON CIMMARON PROPERTY MANAGEMENT CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICIES:

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Cimmaron has made the following modification to our Cancellation and Refund Policies.  Cancellation of rental at any time after Confirmation has been issued may result in forfeiture of all amounts paid.  All rental funds paid are non-refundable, except under the following circumstances:

“If within thirty (30) days of the day that the rental is scheduled to begin, the Guest requests cancellation and provides written verification of circumstances beyond their control which were created as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that prevents them from traveling to the Virgin Islands and/or staying at the Property, Cimmaron will offer to reschedule Guest to a future time and date or provide a refund of the total amounts paid, less a 20% administrative fee.

All other provisions of the Cimmaron Cancellation and Refund Policies remain in effect as outlined on the CimmaronStJohn website at https://www.cimmaronstjohn.com

TRAVEL INSURANCE:

To protect against loss from cancellations caused by certain unforeseen events, including, but not limited to, arrival to or departure from St. John due to natural disaster or hurricane, Agent highly recommends that Guest purchase Travel Insurance to recover loss of pre-paid, non-refundable, unused payment.  Contact Agent at reservations@cimmaronstjohn.com to obtain travel insurance to protect your vacation investment.

Cleaning, Disinfecting & Sanitizing Our Vacation Rentals

We have redefined our cleaning and disinfecting standards to provide our guests with complete peace of mind that their accommodations are completely cleaned and disinfected for a safe and enjoyable guest experience. We are continually monitoring and evolving our solutions to ensure a continued focus on the health and safety of our guests, staff and island residents.  All arriving guests will be provided with complimentary face masks for each member of their party and a 4 ounce bottle of hand sanitizer for use during their stay on St. John.

  • At each departure and prior to each arrival, each villa will be deep cleaned by housekeepers wearing masks and gloves. All bedding, mattress pads, pillow protectors etc. will be laundered and all dishware, silverware and cookware will be run through the dishwasher on high heat cycle. Once the cleaning activities are complete, all high touch areas throughout the unit (including, counter tops, kitchen appliances, living room/dining room and bedroom furnishings, light switches, TV’s and associated components, remote controls, door knobs and windows, all courtyard furniture and BBQ grill) will be wiped down with CDC approved disinfectant and sanitizer.
  • Bed comforters and extra bedding, pillow shams, throw pillows and all but one set of towels per occupant will be removed and stored. The number of Guests in each party will determine the appropriate amount of linens to be provided.  (If we did not remove extra linens and towels, they would all need to be laundered between occupancies.)
  • All food items, condiments and spices will be removed and disposed of at each departure.
  • All kitchenware will be run through the dishwasher at each departure. Departing Guests are encouraged to start a full load in the dishwasher prior to departure.
  • All games, books, DVDs, and the three-ring Guest binder will be removed. NOTE:  All unique property information previously included in the printed guest binder previously at the property will now be available exclusively on our HappyStays App.
  • Generally, there will be no mid-stay cleaning when guests stay two or more weeks.
  • All deck furnishings including umbrellas, railings, loungers, etc. will be wiped down with disinfectants and sanitizers prior to each guest arrival.

 

Occupancy and Arrival/Departure Times

The following provisions have been implemented to ensure that the required cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing activities can be completed prior to each occupancy.  Our Guest Services coordinator will email guests prior to their travel to advise of any changes in occupancy or times of check-in and check-out at their villa or condo

  • Generally, check in time will be no sooner than 3:00 pm on the day of arrival and check out time will be no later than 10:00 am on the day of departure. NOTE:  Airlines strongly recommend that travelers be at the airport a minimum o 3 hours prior to flight departure.
  • If a same day turn of occupancy cannot be otherwise scheduled, the departing guest will be required to check-out not later than 8:00 am and the arriving guest will not be allowed to check-in until 6:00 pm.

 

Healthy Travel Tips

While you are preparing for your vacation, thinking about your health should be one of the many things on your list. Because of this, we want to share some wise travel tips that will help keep germs at bay.

  • Get plenty of sleep before your flight
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes
  • Stay hydrated before and during your trip
  • Sanitize hands frequently when you don’t have access to soap and water for washing your hands
  • Bring sanitizing wipes to disinfect your space
  • Wear face covering at all times when in close proximity to others and above all practice ‘Social Distancing’ whenever possible.

 

Getting to the St. John

  • Transfers from St. Thomas Airport to St. John
    • Public taxis are available outside the baggage claim area at St. Thomas airport. These taxi vans will provide transport to either the Crown Bay Passenger Ferry or to the Red Hook Passenger Ferry terminal.
    • Private Taxis are also available to take arriving guests from the St. Thomas airport directly to either the Crown Bay passenger ferry or the Red Hook passenger ferry terminal. Contact our Guest Services Coordinator prior to departing from home to arrange for this service upon your arrival in St. Thomas.
    • There are several private taxis who are associated with water taxis that are available to pick up guests at the St. Thomas airport and deliver them to either Crown Bay or Red Hook for connection with a water taxi.  These private water taxis will will take guests directly to St. John. Contact our Guest Services Coordinator prior to departing from home to arrange this for service upon your arrival in St. Thomas.
    • Private rental cars are available for rent in St. Thomas which can be taken on the car barge ferry to St. John. Several agencies have counters located at the St. Thomas airport and there are other locations near the airport.  Guests should make reservations in advance and prior to arriving in St. Thomas.
    • Through special arrangements with select St. John Car Rental companies, a private rental car may be available to meet you at the St. Thomas airport, drive you and your party directly to the car barge ferry in Red Hook for final transport to St. John. Upon arrival on St. John you will be delivered to the rental car office to finalize the rental agreement for your vacation rental car.  Contact our Guest Services Coordinator for details and to arrange this service.
  • Getting to your Vacation Rental Home on St. John – In order to abide by all the criteria regarding ‘Social Distancing’ prescribed by the Government of the Virgin Islands, all of our  staff personnel (including your Greeter) have been advised to avoid any direct face-to-face contact with arriving guests. Guests will have received all necessary arrival information in advance of their arrival from the our Guest Services Coordinator.   All necessary interactions between yourselves and your Greeter will be conducted by cell phone and the Greeter will not enter the vacation rental home upon your arrival.
  • Arrival at Vacation Rental Home
    • Property Orientation and Access to Information – Upon arrival at the vacation rental property, your Greeter will ensure that you have been able to gain access to the property but will remain in their vehicle and communicate by cell phone to answer any questions you may have. All guests will have been given advance information on how to download the free HappyStays Guest App .  This App provides complete and specific information about all the features and amenities found at the rental property as well as a video presentation which provides an ‘in-person’ orientation to the property and St. John in general.  The HappyStays App also has an abundance of general information to help visitors get around and enjoy all the amenities and features found on St. John.
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