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Pre-Move Visit Considerations/Pandemic Restrictions?

 
Trap_Do_r
(@trap_do_r)
New Member

Hello all,

I've been looking at relocating to STX for about six months now and skulking around the forums. I was planning to take a pre-move visit out in January/February (flights are cheapest), but travel and stay-home restrictions seem never ending state-side. I'm currently located in Louisiana and, while the state as a whole isn't too bad on restrictions, my area is pretty aggressive about locking people inside their homes (plus high crime and taxes and general mismanagement of local business and economy... there's a whole list of good reasons to leave right now). <a href=" removed link " target="true">gotostcroix.com seems to indicate that it's reasonable/maybe OK to go to the islands right now, but I was hoping someone who lives there could tell me a little bit about how life is with current pandemic restrictions (and I don't know how accurate the website is). Is there very aggressive masking mandates? Do you actually need a COVID test to enter the island? How is this enforced? I can't imagine they're stopping every person who disembarks a plane or boat and checking paperwork (just logistically this policy would be a mess/almost impossible??????). The website says schools are still closed, is there any indication from local government that life will be back on track anytime soon?

I guess I'd assumed that being a small, relatively isolated, population restrictions wouldn't be as sever as they are on the continent (it should be a relatively simple matter to track contagion in a very small, fairly stationary, demographic like 50,000 people). Is a pre-move visit even tenable right now, or are people in the area too worried about germs to do things like show apartments (this is very common where I live right now--apartments just sitting empty since rental agencies don't want people spreading germs)? Would relocation even be a good idea in 2021 or are you projected to have your economy totally thrashed by the lack of tourism like where I live now? We're projecting absolutely horrific tax increases while the city has very quietly furloughed almost a quarter of it's workforce. My wife an I are definitely relocating by the end of 2021, and I had REALLY hoped it would be to St. Croix to start a family and hopefully a new business for the islands, but if restrictions are as bad as they are stateside, we may need to just move out to the country for a few years until everything is under control... definitely not the first choice for either of us. 🙄 

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Topic starter Posted : November 25, 2020 10:10 am
jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
Advanced Member

Your asking a lot of questions.  High level response, the vaccine is coming soon and the data suggests it’s going to be effective.  You also sound as though your fairly young so review the mortality data, your personal risk may not be too bad, the precautions/protocols help protect the vulnerable populations.  COVID-19 is a global issue so it really doesn’t matter where you are.  As for traveling to the USVI, there is a clear protocol that includes a test and online registration before arriving, if you want to expedite entry (and be polite to the island residents).  As for the islands economy, it’s hugely impacted by the tourism industry and the Government is in poor shape financially (the bigger long-term issue) but both will be okay simply because there’s no other option. Finely, yes, an extended pre-move visit is highly recommended. 

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Posted : November 30, 2020 3:27 am
stjohnjulie
(@stjohnjulie)
Trusted Member

As far as really needed a test on arrival working the mandated guidelines, yes.  You need that.  And they are checking EVERY person at the airport.  We have a small resident population and a high visitor population.   We have a current no mask no service mandate.  You can read about all of our mandates and restrictions online and if you feel they are too restrictive to you then this isn’t the place for you.  We have a very fragile healthcare system and these mandates are in place to keep us safe.  

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Posted : November 30, 2020 4:33 am
rewired
(@rewired)
Advanced Member

@trap_do_r

I'm sitting waiting for my test results to return to the island Friday as I write this.

Details on travel restrictions can be found on the VI travel portal at https://usvitravelportal.com/

Almost everywhere on the mainland there should be access to rapid tests with same day results - this will also likely reduce the pressure on sites doing the PCR tests, allowing the results to come back more quickly (my last PCR test results were the evening after I had the sample taken, but your mileage may vary).

You can check local news sites like the St Croix Source and VI Consortium and/or follow the VI Government House on Facebook to keep up with changes to the policies as your trip gets closer.

The VI have a low positivity rate (16 in approximately 50k people on STX this week), but it's up to everyone to keep it that way. There are plenty of places you can get out and be active while socially distant - when you're around people in closer proximity, follow the rules and help keep the numbers low.

I also highly recommend an extended pre move visit - make sure to do things like you would if you lived here - not as a tourist, and visit as much of the island as you can. Even some areas that are close to each other have different 'vibes'.

Don't expect anything to work as well or be as available as on the mainland - bring your sense of humor - and personal responsibility.

 

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Posted : November 30, 2020 3:33 pm
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member
Posted by: @rewired

@trap_do_r

I'm sitting waiting for my test results to return to the island Friday as I write this.

Details on travel restrictions can be found on the VI travel portal at https://usvitravelportal.com/

Almost everywhere on the mainland there should be access to rapid tests with same day results - this will also likely reduce the pressure on sites doing the PCR tests, allowing the results to come back more quickly (my last PCR test results were the evening after I had the sample taken, but your mileage may vary).

You can check local news sites like the St Croix Source and VI Consortium and/or follow the VI Government House on Facebook to keep up with changes to the policies as your trip gets closer.

The VI have a low positivity rate (16 in approximately 50k people on STX this week), but it's up to everyone to keep it that way. There are plenty of places you can get out and be active while socially distant - when you're around people in closer proximity, follow the rules and help keep the numbers low.

I also highly recommend an extended pre move visit - make sure to do things like you would if you lived here - not as a tourist, and visit as much of the island as you can. Even some areas that are close to each other have different 'vibes'.

Don't expect anything to work as well or be as available as on the mainland - bring your sense of humor - and personal responsibility.

 

The corona virus positivity rate in the USVI for Nov 30, 2020 is 10.9%. Relatively low but above the 10% goal set by the WHO.

Number of positive test per day / number of total tests per day x 100 = positivity rate

 

Virgin Islands COVID-19 Statistics: 1,544 Cases / 23 Deaths / 28,327 Tests / Avg cases/day 6 grew 20% from 14 days ago Avg deaths/day 1 declined 100% from 14 days ago (Updated Nov 30, 2020 @ 4:36pm) (covidusa.net)

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Posted : November 30, 2020 5:47 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Trap: One comment...there aren't apartment buildings in the VI as you know them. Most apartments are a separate unit within someone's home. You do need to have a lengthy visit to see if the VI is right for you.

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Posted : December 2, 2020 2:17 pm
islandjoan
(@islandjoan)
Trusted Member

@east-ender

There is something very similar to apartment buildings - those would be condo complexes.

And, some owners do rent their condos.

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Posted : December 3, 2020 10:01 am
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

@islandjoan: Well, yes. But it's not like a stateside apartment complex. And any units probably aren't sitting empty like the OP mentioned.

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Posted : December 3, 2020 1:12 pm
janeinstx
(@janeinstx)
Trusted Member

"it should be a relatively simple matter to track contagion in a very small, fairly stationary, demographic like 50,000 people"

This gave me a chuckle. Nothing here is a simple matter.

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Posted : December 8, 2020 7:30 am
daveb722 liked
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert
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