Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines issues stay-at-home advisory April 10-13 due to COVID-19 activity. Other measures remain in place.

This alert affects Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

This alert began 09 Apr 2020 14:51 GMT and is scheduled to expire 13 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: International transport disruptions, significant business disruptions, increased security

Authorities in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines issued a stay-at-home advisory April 10-13, which covers a holiday period that usually sees large gatherings. Residents are advised but not ordered, to stay at home, with the exception of carrying out essential tasks. The advisory is an extension of measures to halt the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Heightened security measures are likely to enforce the restriction of all nonessential movements.

Authorities have also suspended all international passenger flights at Argyle International Airport (AIA) since April 2, until further notice. Cargo aircraft are unaffected. The seaports of Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, and Union Island have also been closed to yachts and pleasure craft. Cargo sea vessels are unaffected. The government also maintains that all persons who have traveled in Canada, China, Iran, South Korea, the UK, and the US, as well as EU member states (including the French overseas territories of Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Martin, and French Guiana), in the last 14 days will be subject to a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine period.

The government could expand its preventative measures and movement restrictions locally over the coming days and weeks. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures are similar to actions taken by other governments globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. The WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic March 11.

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

World Health Organization (WHO):