US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association
Q1. VIPCA is on the verge of recommending that all charter operations terminate for 30-days as of Saturday 21st for the reasons of ethical concern for the crew’s health in addition to the charterer’s health. This is largely based upon the “self-quarantine” advised for any persons whom have traveled by air. IS THERE ANYTHING WRITTEN TO THAT EXTENT REGARDING SELF-QUARANTINE FOR PERSONS WHOM HAVE FLOWN WHICH WE COULD USE TO SUPPRORT THIS DECISION?
A1. As of yesterday, based on guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the White House, the World Health Organization, Caribbean Public Health Agency, and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, CDC, and in a coordinated approach with the Office of the Governor, Department of Health, Virgin Islands Territorial Management Agency, residents and visitors are being strongly urged to utilize social distancing to help us contain the Virus and prevent spreading throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands. We only have 3 individuals who has tested positive at this time, 8 tested negative, and 33 test results are pending. Maintaining social distancing is required. https://doh.vi.gov/
Pleasure Vessels have a unique situation due to the nature of the sitting and living conditions. To quarantine an individual on a pleasure vessel whether family or guest, should they become ill, in a safe distance away from other guests and crew, would be very challenging. As of today, Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas and Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix are open for inbound and outbound travel. The guidance from the CDC below should be shared with VIPCA as it relates to potential travel within the U.S., which includes the U.S.V.I. (See Below)
Q2. What is the criteria for the beaches?
A2. A policy for the beaches has not been mandated but social distancing is required and Governor Bryan indicated that there is a count of beach use going on this weekend. If a voluntary social distancing is not maintained by beach goers, the Governor will consider beach closures. In-person events are limited to a maximum of ten.
Q3. Further can you please advise what information you have received with regards to small business loans specific to COVID-19 loss of revenue for small businesses, and independent contractors’ employment loss? Is the following SBA loan recommended: https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-newsroom/press-releases-media-advisories/sba-provide-disaster-assistance-loans-small-businesses-impacted-coronavirus-covid-19 and what is the route advised for small businesses to take?
A3. $30 million dollars in small interest loans was made available by a Presidential Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Declaration, last week, through the U.S. Small Business Administration for Coronavirus-related economic disruptions.
The process for U.S. Virgin Island’s business, to include charter vessels and maritime support business, to access SBA’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disaster Relief Lending requires Governor Bryan to issue a U.S. Virgin Islands Economic Injury Disaster Loan Declaration. This very declaration is being drafted for the Governor’s signature.