I will say that I have traveled a few times during this pandemic, however I did not fly anywhere until recently. Eased into taking a few road trips and driving to my destinations. In May 2020 I went to Savannah Georgia and visited the beach. In June I went to Grandfather Mountain North Carolina and had the best time. I recently decided to book a trip to St. Thomas USVI for New Year’s Eve and everything went seamlessly. In preparation for the trip, I had to take a COVID-19 test within five days of travel and have a negative result. I also had to do a pre-screening on the Virgin Islands Travel Portal and get approval to travel.
I flew Delta going to St. Thomas and felt very safe due to all the safety precautions that were being taken. In the terminal they promote social distancing and block off every other seat, so you are never sitting next to anyone. Once you enter the plane, they give you a Purell hand sanitizing wipe so you can wipe down your personal area. The middle seats are blocked off and you are never sitting directly next to anyone. You must wear your mask the entire flight except for when you are eating or drinking. Luckily I got a whole row to myself and took the window seat. The isle seat is what I initially paid for. I spread out and propped my leg up to get comfortable and that is exactly how I flew and even got a nap in!
The plane is cleaned and disinfected in between flights and they offer you hand sanitizer and sanitizing cloths throughout the flight. I had my own bottle of Purell hand sanitizer on me. You get a snack while in fight, it is in a plastic bag with the traditional Biscoff cookies, crackers, bottled water, napkins and hand sanitizer. The flight was smooth and seemed to go by quickly. Once I landed in St. Thomas, I had to line up in order to go through their COVID-19 screening requirements once you deplane. You are greeted by the military and medical personnel in hazmat suits. Your temperature is immediately taken.
Once they have taken your temperature you need to have your documents ready that show your negative COVID-19 test results along with the travel portal approval email. After you get through that part, you are greeted in the airport and offered a mask and hand sanitizing wipes in a small United States Virgin Islands tote bag. Then you are free to meet up with your family, friends or take a taxi to your hotel, resort or personal residence. Full transparency, I went and settled in and headed straight to a restaurant for a cocktail. My first cocktail of the trip was Rum Punch, and it was DELICIOUS!
St. Thomas has COVID-19 rules in place to promote safety when out and about. You must always wear your mask in public places especially when they are heavy traffic areas. Most establishments will not allow you to enter or serve you without a mask on. If you are at a restaurant or bar you can take off your mask once seated. If you are standing in a bar or restaurant, your mask must remain on until you are seated at a table. Most bars are open, but you cannot sit at the bar. You will be seated at a table and a server will wait on you. You cannot order directly at the bar due to restrictions.
Most restaurants and bars will do last call in between 11:00-11:30pm Midnight is the cutoff for serving alcohol and most places will start to shut down. Police and Security are patrolling the streets to make sure establishments are adhering to the laws or they will be fined and can ultimately be shut down for not following the rules. Honestly, I have never felt this safe traveling and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Traveling is a personal choice, and I chose to travel because I go out into the world daily to work and must take these same precautions. It is all in your comfort level and the precautions you take.
St. Thomas has their set of rules that you must follow when visiting, and I had no issues with any of them. I will share my experience visiting St. Thomas and St. John real soon. So, Stay Tuned…