On Oct. 15, crowd-size restrictions were eased and the territory-wide curfew was completely lifted for the first time since the July spike in Covid-19 cases.

“Cabinet met on Wednesday and has made decisions to ease a number of areas that we have been examining,” Mr. Malone said in a brief Facebook broadcast on Friday, when he also announced that the number of known active cases had fallen to four.

As of Oct. 15, a public health ordinance in the Gazette declared that gatherings will no longer be limited by a specific number of people unless they are associated with planned events including social outings, parties, festivals, organised sports, and business conferences.

Organisers and proprietors will still have to ensure that attendees follow distancing and sanitisation measures, and that only one person per nine square feet is allowed without prior approval from Mr. Malone. The order will last until Oct. 29.

Curfew ended

The curfew that previously went from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. daily also ended on Friday.

Though it was previously rescinded briefly in April, the curfew was reinstated months later as active cases exploded to record highs in July.

However, the government did not bring back the round-the-clock curfew that lasted for more than a month at the start of the pandemic, and Premier Andrew Fahie said during a recent press conference on the cruise industry that the government has no intention of resorting to such drastic measures again.

He still urged caution as residents and visitors navigate the change in protocols.

“We must realise that the delta and mu variants are still within our community,” Mr. Malone said Friday. “Throughout the world, challenges exist when it comes to Covid-19.”

USVI vaccines

While the VI recently received a shipment of 2,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, Mr. Malone said Cabinet is also exploring options for giving residents access to the United States VI via private or chartered vessels to get the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Passengers would be required to pay $50 for a rapid Covid-19 test but could get an exemption from portal fees and quarantining upon returning as long as they register with the Ministry of Health and Social Development before traveling, he said.


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