Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. relaxed and modified several COVID-19 restrictions Tuesday as the number of active cases in the territory has declined, but other COVID-19 mitigation orders remain in place and are still enforced by the COVID-19 Task Force.
The COVID-19 Task Force enforcement team is comprised of law enforcement officers from the V.I. Department of Health, Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs, Department of Planning and Natural Resources, Waste Management Authority, V.I. Police Department, V.I. Taxicab Commission, Fire Service, and the Virgin Islands Superior Court Marshall’s Division.
In addition to enforcing the Virgin Islands Code, the COVID-19 Task Force officers enforce all executive orders issued by the governor. These Executive Orders are implemented to ensure COVID-19 mitigation measures are followed throughout the various establishments, according to Sunday by the Department of health.
While dancing is now permitted, other COVID-19 safety practices must be adhered to, the news release said. People still must wear masks while dancing and try to social distance themselves as much as possible from other couples or other people who may be dancing. People not dancing must remain seated. The seated service policy is still in effect. Bar stools and tables must be spaced four-feet-apart. Food or beverages are only permitted to be served to patrons while they are seated.
Businesses must maintain social distancing and allow only 75 percent of their original capacity in an establishment provided that the social distancing measures are maintained. Mass gatherings are not permitted. Masks must be worn at all times unless eating or drinking.
The moratorium on serving alcohol past 11 p.m. has been lifted. Businesses can resume regular business hours based on their business license, the news release said.
The COVID-19 task force will strictly enforce the Virgin Islands Code based on the category each business is licensed for. Businesses are urged to adhere to the guidelines based on the category of their business license. Health permits and business licenses are non-transferrable.
Under the governor’s orders, business establishments, including taverns, cease doing business, including dispensing liquor, and close doors to the public at 1 a.m. of every day, except Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays when the hour of ceasing business and closing doors to the public shall be 2 a.m. Provided, that any such business establishment may remain open after 2 a.m. upon the owner making an application to the police commissioner for a special license for that purpose, and upon payment of a license fee of $1,000 for each hour the business establishment will be opened after 2 a.m. The order also says no special license will be granted that extends the closing time beyond 4 a.m. No special license will be granted to bars and taverns which are surrounded by at least two dwellings within a distance of 100 feet on any two sides of said bar or tavern, the statement continued.
Night clubs shall cease business and close doors to the public at 4:00 am and any night club that is enclosed 100% shall close its doors to the public at 5:00 a.m. of every day except that night clubs which are surrounded by at least two dwellings within a distance of 100 feet on any two sides of said night club shall close at 1:00 am on weekdays and 2:00 am on Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays.