Governor Albert Bryan has lifted the curfew placed on the territory's beaches to help minimize the spread of Covid-19, another step toward normalcy as the administration keeps a handle on the deadly contagion. The curfew called for residents to leave beaches at 4:00 p.m. while banning parties and other similar activities.
The lift, which takes effect on Friday, does not relax the ban on beach parties and grilling. Speaking during the administration's weekly press briefing Monday, Mr. Bryan said the USVI's Covid numbers continue to hold steady with 51 active cases, and vaccinations continue to climb, with the territory only 15,000 first-dose vaccine shots away from the administration's goal of 50,000 shots by July.
"Please, this is the first attempt right now. No grilling, no deejays — none of that," Mr. Bryan said. He said if the territory arrives at 40,000 vaccinations, he would allow parties and grilling.
The governor also offered a warning, stating that the eased restriction would be reinstated if conditions relative to the Covid positivity rate were to deteriorate. "Now, it's up to you. We have to police ourselves and we have to know how we want to act when we're on the beach," Mr. Bryan said. "So if it doesn't go well this weekend, then we'll have to look at the beach curfew again."
Pressure was mounting on the governor to ease the curfew restriction at beaches. Senator Kurt Vialet on Sunday said, "It is time to fully reopen our beaches! We can continue to ban parties on the beach but keep them open!"
The breakdown of the USVI's 51 Covid-19 cases is as follows: 23 on St. Croix, 27 on St. Thomas and 1 on St. John, according to the Dept. of Health. Twenty-seven people territory-wide have died as a result of the virus.