Gov. Albert Bryan Jr.’s most recent executive order responding to the growing COVID-19 pandemic includes mandatory quarantines for visitors from a dozen high-risk states, partial closures of beaches on the weekends, and the indefinite closure of bars, gambling parlors and casinos, among other restrictions.
Bryan discussed the outlines of the new restrictions at a press conference Friday. Since then, a spike in COVID-19 cases at Limetree Bay on St. Croix has prompted new measures, and the governor has delayed school opening to at least Sept. 8. Tuesday morning. Government House distributed a copy of the order itself, providing a more detailed look at the new mandatory measures.
For restaurants, patrons may not congregate around the bar area and must be seated at least six feet away from other groups. Food can be served on-site or to-go. Alcohol can be sold to-go with food, but restaurants may not sell orders of just alcoholic beverages to-go.
All beaches are closed from 4 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, except for fishermen casting nets or accessing their boats.
There are to be no picnics, parties, DJs or DJ equipment, bonfires, cooking, barbecuing or grilling on the territory’s beaches.
Anyone arriving in the territory from a state or country with a higher than 10 percent positive test rate for COVID-19 is subject to a mandatory self-quarantine of 14 days. This doesn’t apply to passengers who just changed planes in those locations. This applies only to passengers age 15 and older.
As of July 14, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas and Utah all had positive test rates higher than 10 percent and are subject to the quarantine rule. Data for Puerto Rico appears to be incomplete.
The order encourages all businesses to have as many employees as possible work from home. It encourages everyone to stay at home as much as possible.