Governor’s May 7th Supplemental Order, page 3, Section 4: Effective MAY 15, 2020, and in compliance with all other Stay Safer at Home and social distancing restrictions, charter vessels SHALL be allowed to conduct Weekly Charters with VI Residents or Visitors.”
For the latest Government and Local Authority guidance see: https://usviupdate.com
In a May 26, 2020 Press Release by the USVI Department of Tourism,Commissioner of Tourism Joseph Boschulte declared that “Over the past several weeks, we have been building COVID-19 mitigation and response capacity, and preparing protocols to protect the health and safety of residents and visitors alike,” Commissioner Boschulte also reported that “as new protocols, developed with input from the Office of the Governor, tourism and health authorities, and the private sector, are rolled out, a state of emergency due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic will remain in effect through July 11, 2020.”
Healthy and Safety Guidelines: As noted in the release and in preparation for the reopening of the Territory to tourism on June 1, 2020, the Department of Tourism has prepared “Health and Safety Guidelines for the USVI Tourism Industry”, a comprehensive master document that provides specific guidance to all tourism stakeholders. “The response and collaboration of various departments and agencies are to be commended,” Commissioner Boschulte said, noting that the document will be frequently updated to reflect anticipated guidance updates.
Charter Cleanliness & Best Practices: Developed by VIPCA in compliance with suggestions released by the Center of Disease Control, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, the American Cleaning Institution, and the World Health Organization. By creating a standard of expected cleanliness, the charter industry can give guests peace of mind regarding preventive measures taken to protect the health of themselves and their crew. VIPCA additionally encourages all members to follow government standards and laws regarding COVID-19.
In accordance with the Third Supplemental Executive Order in response to the State of Emergency Declaration by the Honorable Albert Bryan Jr. in response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, all persons must complete the COVID-19 Health Assessment Questionnaire to be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to completing the health questionnaire, all persons currently anchoring, or seeking to anchor, in the waters of the United States Virgin Islands are required to obtain a long-term anchoring permit to be submitted by email to email@example.com. Note that DPNR has identified 16 bays, on St. Thomas and Water Island, 4 in St. John and 6 in St. Croix for anchoring specifically until April 30, for more info: https://dpnr.vi.gov/environmental-enforcement/anchoring-mooring/
For vessels at anchor or cruising in USVI waters, please be aware that you are being closely observed by people who are under stay-at-home orders, and that in many cases have plenty of time on their hands.
- It is IMPERATIVE that all yachts respect US Virgin Island law regarding black-water discharge from their holding tanks
- It is illegal for a vessel to discharge raw sewage within the 3 nautical mile limit of the territorial waters of the U.S. Virgin Islands
DPNR recommends vessels make use of online concierge services to the greatest extent possible for provisioning, especially if you have recently arrived from another port.
- Island Direct: for food delivery and pick up of take-outs from local restaurants.
- Moe's is expanding its online resort provisioning services: Under 'My Resort', vessels in the East End of St. Thomas can click on the Ritz-Carlton button to be supplied by Moe's Red Hook store and those in Charlotte Amalie harbor to click on the Marriott button and be supplied from the Moe's Waterfront store.
- Cost-U-Less: There is an online version, but it seems limited. Email Keisha at firstname.lastname@example.org (I know that email seems weird ... but that is correct.). If your order exceeds $500, they will deliver for free.
- PriceSmart: You can email your list to: Lourdes Carrasquillo at email@example.com. Free delivery is not offered and you may need to have a Business account with them.
- Fruit Bowl: Email provisioning list to firstname.lastname@example.org. They will deliver to Charlotte Amalie for free, but not to Red Hook.
See full Marine Directory at this link, or click on the above link for an online document containing information regarding which vendors are open for business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
VI National Park Moorings
- Please note that a long-term permit from VI DPNR is not required to be in National Park waters.
- The NPS fee applies to all overnight guest in park waters, whether mooring or anchored in a designated area.
- The NPS appreciates the collaborative ways some sailors are using to safely get to Cruz Bay. Whether by sailing in, using a dingy, water or land based taxi-- any of those methods can work.
- Only one person needs to come to the Cruz Bay station to register and to pick up their reserve buoy.
- Proxies are also allowed upon mutual agreement between boaters.
The registration process is outdoors and designed to be quick and straightforward.
- The timing and schedule adherence is important specifically to prevent crowding.
- Social distancing will be practiced by the NPS staff and is expected to be respectfully practiced by boaters to keep everyone safe.
- DPNR has advised us that all boaters are required by the VI Territory to complete the health survey form which is fillable online.
- NPS staff will not have health survey forms to hand out. It can be found here: https://dpnr.vi.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/2020-04.01-USVI-Covid-19-arrival-passenger-screen-tool-4-1-2020-long-fill.pdf.
- The completed form should be emailed to: email@example.com.
Recognizing Positive Stewardship on the Water
Crews in St. Thomas have been organizing weekly food orders shared between multiple boats to obtain goods from a local farm and local baker. Sugar Brown Farms delivered to Crown Bay Marina to one crew representative, wearing mask and gloves. Safe distance was kept and payment collected online. Crews in St. John have also organized group orders with Sugar Brown Farms who met their representative in Red Hook. Love City Lunchbox has been delivering fresh bread orders by powerboat to crews in Brewer’s Bay, St. Thomas, while also keeping safe distance and wearing gloves in the exchange of goods.
Several crews have also created chat groups and radio support networks within their current harbors in effort to share news & updated protocols set forth by the Government of the USVI. These groups are also coordinating provisioning and trash runs, which is productive in limiting the number of crews going ashore. Kelly, a local provisioner on St. Thomas, has asked that boats consider group orders so she too can limit her trips to the store and make more productive provisioning runs.
Consideration of our precious marine environment is very important to local charter crews and the dumping of any kind of waste is a matter taken very seriously. Crews moored near Waterlemon Cay in St. John with scuba diving equipment recently organized a Project AWARE underwater debris cleanup of Lameshur Bay, while another crew in Brewer’s Bay has taken it upon themself to ensure that incoming vessels unfamiliar with the bay avoid anchoring on top of coral reef habitats. Hats off to all crews doing their part to be positive stewards of the community. We see you, and we appreciate you.
Regulated Garbage and Garbage Removal Upon Arrival to USVI
What is Regulated Garbage?
Garbage containing or associated with plant or animal materials; generated onboard conveyances arriving from any place outside the United States, except Canada, is subject to requirements and safeguards for handling once in the United States.
Garbage becomes regulated by APHIS per 7 CFR 330.401 and 9 CFR 94.5 (c) when generated onboard a conveyance (ocean vessels and aircraft) only when the garbage is on or removed from the conveyance.
Additionally, the conveyance generating the garbage has either:
·Moved outside of the U.S. or Canada within the previous 2 year period; or
·Moved to or from Hawaii, U.S. territories, or possessions within the previous 1 year period
Regulated garbage must be disposed at a site approved to handle regulated garbage. Vessels may remove or “purge” their stores and garbage and disinfect, to attain “domestic status.”
By purging their stores and garbage, vessel owners are provided an opportunity to reduce their costs associated with garbage removal.
What is purging?
Vessels may purge (remove, in accordance with APHIS requirements, all garbage or stores that might introduce foreign plant and animal pests and diseases) their stores and garbage and disinfect if necessary to attain “domestic status”. Purging allows the garbage generated after the purge to be disposed of without grinding, incineration, or sterilization.
Procedures for Purging:
CBP Agriculture Specialists will monitor the purging of the vessel’s regulated stores and garbage and subsequent cleaning and disinfection.
As part of the purging process, the vessel has to dispose of the following items:
Meat and meat products regardless of origin, except shelf stable canned meat/poultry.(Special note: All ruminant material from BSE affected countries (regardless of processing/even if shelf stable canned) and canned perishable poultry material from END and/or HPAI countries are prohibited and must be disposed of).
Fresh and condensed milk and cream from countries in which Foot and Mouth disease exists
Fresh fruits and vegetables
All garbage aboard the vessel
To get a head start, the crew can remove the food items from their rooms, kitchen cabinets/refrigerator/freezer and place them in strong plastic bags(keep them on the vessel until the CBPAS arrive).
Following disposal, all storerooms and locations which held the previously purged material must be cleaned and disinfected (with authorized/approved disinfectant) by the crew also under direct supervision of a CBPAS.
The purged material is to be incinerated or sterilized.
The captain will be given a CBP Form AI288 Ship Inspection Report with “Purged-now domestic” written in the Remarks Block
Schedule the purge when you have consumed most, if not all of your stores.
Items that are not considered regulated:
Processed condiments(ketchup, mayo, mustard)
Paper and plastics not associated with food
You will remain in the domestic status as long as you remain in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Once you leave the Virgin Islands, to visit a foreign country or anywhere in the Continental United States, your status returns to regulated garbage.
Keep one bin for regulated garbage and another one for dry waste, to simplify this process since not all garbage is regulated waste.
If you would like to schedule a purge please send an email ONIQUEE.WINSTON@CBP.DHS.GOV or call Oniquee Winston 340-774-4554 or 340-626-1542. If you haveany further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.
I am attaching a document that describes the procedure and the requirements. You can also find more information in the USDA website at:https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth/sa_import/sa_garbage/ct_regulated_garbage/c
VIPCA is grateful for all boaters to comply while being respectful of the health of the people of Virgin Islands, the health of the people onboard neighbouring yachts and the health of the environment. VIPCA encourages all members to follow government standards and laws regarding COVID-19. More information can be found at the DPNR website that relates to this order: https://dpnr.vi.gov/environmental-enforcement/