Travelers from Barbados now considered ‘high risk’
Beginning yesterday, Monday, January 4, travelers from Barbados will be categorized as arriving from a high-risk country, and must quarantine in an approved hotel for 10 days.
This change in the protocol for entry of travelers to St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) was announced by the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) Saturday night.
A change has also been made to the protocol for entry of travelers to SVG from medium risk countries, who will now have to spend five days in an approved hotel.
The change in categorization of Barbados from medium risk to high risk came just hours after the Barbados government announced that between January 1 and 2, over 200 people tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and that public health officials are investigating at least three clusters, one of which is a super spreader event accounting for the majority of new cases.
The 211 confirmed cases for both days include 170 cases from Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) Dodds. This comprises 49 staff members – 33 males and 16 females; and 121 inmates – 120 males and one female.
The other 41 cases not related to HMP Dodds, comprise 20 males and 21 females.
The main super spreader event is a Boxing Day bus crawl that made several stops at West Coast bars, some of which are now closed. Officials are also looking at two smaller clusters comprising seven and four cases, respectively, centering around a visitor and a hotel worker. There is a possibility of two more clusters.
Countries classified as high risk by SVG are Barbados, United States of America, including the United States Virgin Islands (USVI), China, United Kingdom, Germany, Guyana, Suriname, Belize, St. Lucia, Grenada, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Brazil, India, Panama, Argentina, Peru, Haiti, Colombia, South Africa, Nigeria, Indonesia, Philippines, Italy, Bahamas, Canada, Turks and Caicos Islands, France (including overseas regions), Spain and Russia.
Arrivals from high-risk countries must arrive with a negative result of a COVID-19 (RT-PCR) test done no more than 72 hours before arrival; may be retested for COVID-19 (RT-PCR) on arrival in SVG; must mandatorily quarantine for 10 days in a Tourism Authority/MOHWE approved Transition/Quarantine Hotel at their cost. Must arrive with proof of the fully paid reservation; must transfer to the Transition Hotel in an approved AIA taxi or approved vessel (plane or ferry) at own expense; must be retested between day four and day seven of quarantine.
The protocol lists medium risk countries as Taiwan, Cuba, British Virgin Islands, Antigua and Barbuda. Travelers from these countries must arrive with a negative result of a COVID-19 (RT-PCR) test done no more than 72 hours before arrival; may be retested on arrival in SVG;
must spend mandatory quarantine for five days in a Tourism Authority/MOHWE approved Transition/ Quarantine Hotel at their cost; must be retested on day four of quarantine; must continue five monitored days in an approved home/hotel/vessel at the discretion of the Port Health Officer.
Low risk countries are Anguilla, Dominica, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis. Travellers from these countries must arrive with a negative result of a COVID-19 (RT-PCR) test done no more than 72 hours before arrival; may be tested on arrival in SVG at the discretion of the Port Health Officer.
They will not be subjected to quarantine if there is no evidence of onboard vessel exposure and the traveler is not in a high-risk occupation.
The country of residence is defined as the last country that the traveller was present in for at least 21 days.