The U.S. Virgin Islands has confirmed its policy of requiring all cruise passengers 12 and over to be fully vaccinated for a cruise ship to be allowed entry into its ports.
The USVI government said in a statement from that it has been working with cruise lines to resume operations throughout 2021 and has established binding protocols in collaboration with the Virgin Islands Port Authority and the Virgin Islands Department of Health.
As of right now, it said, all passengers 12 and older must be fully vaccinated to enter the USVI; each ship must have a minimum 85% vaccination rate among the entire number of crew and guests onboard, and any percentage below 85% requires contact and consultation with the Department of Health.
Excluding passengers who willingly provide proof of vaccination, all disembarking passengers aged 2 and older must provide a negative Covid-19 test result taken within five days prior to arrival into the USVI.
Any positive passenger, or identified close contact passenger, must remain in isolation on the cruise ship.
If a cruise line errs in regard to a passenger’s vaccination status, the vessel will not be prevented from making a port call as long as the line reports the discrepancy to the department at least 12 hours prior to arrival.
The USVI’s policy was first disclosed by Royal Caribbean International, which said it was requiring all passengers 12 and older be fully vaccinated in order for its ships to enter St. Thomas, whose Charlottetown pier is a popular port call for major lines.
The Bahamas on Friday updated its cruise-entry protocols and now requires all adult passengers on arriving cruise ships to be fully vaccinated; like the USVI, children under 12 are exempt from the requirement.
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