U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Thomas Albert Bryan, Jr. reinstituted the territory’s Stay at Home order until at least Aug. 31 in an effort to stanch the rise in coronavirus cases in the territory, the Virgin Island Source reported.
The executive order takes effect on Aug. 17 at 6 a.m.
No new reservations will be permitted for accommodations of any type after Aug. 19, except for government and emergency workers and business travelers.
In addition, all non-essential workers are asked to stay home for a minimum of two weeks while the government evaluates the situation.
Restaurants are requested to revert back to take-out or delivery service only, and beaches will be required to close at noon on weekends and holidays.
“While we have been closely monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19 in the territory since going to the Open Doors phase in June, the recent infiltration of the virus into residential institutions that house vulnerable members of our population creates an alarming level of risk,” Bryan said a press conference in St. Thomas.”
“This was not an easy decision,” Bryan added. “It is a real, earnest effort to keep people safe. We have come to a time when we have to make a decision for the greater good of all in order to preserve health, life and safety.”
Since Aug. 5, positive COVID-19 cases in the USVI rose from 501 to 704 cases, representing a 40 percent increase. Alarmingly, cases in St. Thomas increased from 194 cases on to 363 confirmed cases as of Thursday evening, which represents a 70 percent jump.
Earlier this month, St. Thomas announced it will require travelers to apply for certification via an online portal designed to pre-screen visitors for coronavirus prior to their arrival.
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