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People who got fully vaccinated in any U.S. state will soon be able to verify their vaccination status through the USVI Travel Portal, a big move announced by Governor Albert Bryan Monday that once implemented will ease the burden for tourists coming into the territory ahead of the upcoming holiday season.
Currently, only people vaccinated in the U.S. Virgin Islands can use the Travel Portal's vaccination verification system. All other individuals must upload an acceptable Covid-19 test result and wait to be verified by the system, which is in part manned by humans. Vaccinated Virgin Islanders can simply upload their information and await verification.
All this will change very soon, said Governor Bryan. He said once in place, the system "will make travel to and from the territory a little bit easier for our guests." The program is expected to go live "in two to three weeks," according to the governor. Mr. Bryan also stated that the program is costly to maintain. "All these things cost money. All these tests, all these things is hundred of thousands of dollars we spend doing this. I don't want to give people the impression that this thing is free, and money that we use on this is money that we're not using on other things to strengthen our health infrastructure in our community."
He added, "Two to three weeks we are looking at. Tourist season is starting to pick up so that's another concern of ours that we start to do these things before tourists start to come."
In July, the USVI started accepting vaccination status of individuals vaccinated in the territory as clearance to reenter following a trip from abroad.
The program may make the USVI more attractive to travelers who are vaccinated as the holidays draw near, but there's also the risk that Covid-19 cases may increase, as vaccinated individuals, though less likely than the unvaccinated, are still known to spread the disease.