News of St. John ran this story and I’m passing this along to you. Â Check out their blog at newsofstjohn.com
12 p.m. Update:Â We just got off the phone with Mike Anderson, NPS Deputy Superintendent. He said that NPS has gone ahead and closed the park per direction from the federal government. He said signs were put up and barricades installed. Because the National Park extends out into the water, all beaches from Lindt Point to Haulover Bay are closed. Additionally on the South Shore, Salt Pond, the Lameshures and Reef Bay are closed. All park trails are also closed.
â€œNo one is happy about this, including our staff,â€ he said.
Anderson said 46 park employees have been furloughed including Park Superintendent Brion FitzGerald. Anderson will remain working as the park coordinator during the shutdown.
Regarding the water, vessels are allowed to pass through the park waters, but they cannot anchor or tie up to any of the moorings. In addition, all commercial activity is suspended including guided tours, and snorkeling or scuba tours. Boat operators can, however, pick up guests in St. John but they must travel to the BVIs.