T&T and Jamaica deemed high risk countries in relation to COVID-19
Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) and Jamaica have been added to the list of countries deemed by local authorities as being high risk as it relates to the spread of COVID-19.
Travellers from these countries must therefore arrive in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) with a negative COVID-19 test done no more than seven days before arrival. They will also be re-tested for COVID-19 on arrival and must do a mandatory five-day quarantine in a Tourism Authority/Ministry of Health approved transition/quarantine hotel at their cost.
Travellers must also arrive with proof of the fully paid reservation, must be re-tested between day four and day five of quarantine and must continue nine to 16 days of quarantine in an approved home/hotel at the discretion of the Port Health Officer.
The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) and the Health Services Subcommittee on August 31 updated the protocol for the entry of travellers to SVG, adding T&T and Jamaica as high risk countries. Also on the list are: the United States of America (USA), including the United States Virgin Islands (USVI), China, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Brazil, India, Panama, Argentina, Peru, Haiti, Colombia, South Africa, Nigeria, Indonesia, Philippines, Italy, Bahamas, Turks and Ciaos Islands and Russia.
The entry protocols have as their aim, the safe entry of travellers to SVG in a manner that reduces the risk of the importation and subsequent transmission of COVID-19. The objectives are to establish the risk of the arriving traveller introducing new COVID-19 to SVG, minimize exposure of residents of SVG to new COVID-19, early identification of potential exposure to new COVID-19, and early containment of new COVID-19 cases.
Arriving travelers are also being asked to complete a pre-arrival form available at health.gov.vc while on arrival, a health officer will complete a Port Health form for each arriving passenger.
Apart from protocols for high-risk countries, protocols also exist for medium risk countries. Travellers from these countries must arrive with a negative COVID-19 test done no more than five days before arrival. They will also be retested on arrival in SVG and must quarantine for a mandatory 48 to 72 hours at home to await clearance. They may also be asked to continue to quarantine for a total of 14 days as determined by the Port Health Officer.
Medium risk countries include Cuba, Guyana, Suriname, Belize, United Kingdom, Germany and the British Virgin Islands.
On SVG’s low risk countries list are CARICOM bubble countries (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia). Other low risk countries are Taiwan, Canada and Iceland. For the purposes of the CARICOM Bubble, the country of residence will be the last country that the traveler was present in for at least 14 days.
Also low risk are travellers on private planes to bubble resorts/hotels — Mustique Island, Petit St Vincent Resort (PSV) and the Mandarin Hotel (the entire island or hotel facility is considered a COVID-19 free space).
Any other country not assigned to the above categories should be assumed to be high risk. It is however noted in the protocols that diplomats must have a negative PCR COVID-19 test result done within seven days of arrival. All diplomats who arrive by air will be quarantined for at least 24 hours to await additional PCR test results of all passengers from the same flight.
Passengers on private vessels with all passengers holding negative COVID-19 tests results must arrive with a negative result for COVID-19 done no more than seven days before arrival. They may be retested on arrival in SVG, while quarantine is not necessary if no evidence of onboard vessel exposure is seen or persons are not in a high-risk occupation. High-risk occupations include crew members (persons coming from a sailing vessel), oil rig workers, health care workers (current) and prison/detention facility workers.
Meanwhile, travelers intending to transit through another country from SVG are advised to visit the country’s travel website to determine the requirements for travel.