Islands Attorney General Denise George is reminding residents that those who
willfully violate emergency executive orders and directives of Governor Albert
Bryan Jr. and Health Commissioner Justa Encarnacion during the declared state
of emergency can face criminal consequences.
can include arrest and prosecution under Virgin Islands law.
executive orders carry the weight of law and must be obeyed,” Attorney General
Commissioner of Health, as the designated Incident Commander, has the power and
authority to enforce health regulations providing for quarantine, isolation and
other appropriate measures.
known to have the virus who willfully violate the directives as determined by
the Health commissioner can be criminally charged under Title 14 of the V.I.
Code, according to the Attorney General.
14, subsection 886 states “[w]however willfully exposes himself or another
afflicted with any contagious or infectious disease in any public place or
thoroughfare… shall be fined not more than $200 or imprisoned not more than 1
year, or both.”
this emergency, all territorial peace officers have been deputized and are
operating under the direction of both the Governor and the Incident Commander.
Title 14, subsection 883 of the V.I. Code states, in part, “Whoever disobeys
the lawful orders of any police officer… shall be fined not more than $200 or
imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.”
or commands to individuals or business owners given by peace officers relating
to the containment of COVID-19 shall be considered orders given directly by
either the Governor or the Commissioner of Health,” Attorney General George
said. “They must be strictly obeyed.”
any business operating outside of the requirements imposed by the Executive
Orders may face administrative fines imposed by the Department of Licensing and
Consumer Affairs, as well as revocation of their business license.
the Governor’s Executive Orders certainly impact the lives of every Virgin
Islander, it must be remembered that their purpose is to protect the health,
safety, and well-being of every person throughout the Territory, Attorney
General George said.
is essentially a matter of life and death. Strict adherence to the dictates of
the Governor’s Executive Orders and directives of the Virgin Islands Health
commissioner is mandatory,” she said. “If every individual and business
throughout the Territory complies, this horrific pandemic may speedily pass so
that life may return to normal in our community.”