Authorities in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have modified the travel restrictions put in place to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). As a result of the modifications, travelers from the so-called "Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Bubble," a group of Caribbean countries with different entry requirements, are now subject to greater restrictions upon entry to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. As of Oct. 12, the following measures are in effect:
- Persons arriving from the CARICOM, which includes Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, are now required to present a negative PCR test result prior to arrival. CARICOM Bubble travelers may be testes again upon arrival, and may be required to quarantine for up to three days while they await COVID-19 testing results. Travelers from Barbados are exempt from the increased restrictions, and may be required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival.
- Persons who test positive upon arrival, regardless of approved documentation, will be subject to a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine.
- Arriving passengers from high-risk countries, including the US, the UK, and Germany, must present a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test taken in the last five days and test negative again on arrival. Travelers must also self-quarantine in a government-approved facility for at least five days. After the five days, travelers will then be tested for COVID-19 again, and must continue to quarantine for 9-16 days. Proof of a pre-paid hotel reservation must be provided upon arrival.
- Travelers from medium-risk countries, including Canada, Cuba, and Iceland must provide negative results from a PCR test done in the last five days prior to arrival, and test negative again in an additional test taken upon arrival. In addition, travelers are required to quarantine in a government-approved facility for at least 2-3 days.
- Passengers that are required to quarantine, must travel from the airport to their accommodations in a government-approved taxi or vessel.
- Persons transiting through another country, including the US, must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken in the last seven days and test negative again on arrival.
- Persons traveling by sea must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test result done within 3-7 days prior to arrival. Those who test positive will be placed under mandatory quarantine for 14 days in a government-approved facility.
- In-transit travelers must provide a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR conducted within five days prior to arrival.
Argyle International Airport (AIA) is open, and while regional flights have resumed, other international flights are limited. All yachts must seek approval for entry before proceeding to a designated area for on-vessel quarantine. Persons on board may opt to take a PCR test but must remain onboard until a negative test result is received. Cargo aircraft and sea vessels are operating normally.
The government has not enforced any major internal movement restrictions. The public is urged to practice social distancing and wear protective face coverings when in indoor public places. Major supermarkets must restrict the number of customers to allow for physical distancing. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.
Background and Analysis
Several regional governments have begun implementing recovery plans to lift restrictive measures introduced in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) March 11. Should the number of COVID-19 cases significantly increase, previously relaxed restrictions may be reapplied. Likewise, a continued low number of cases may result in a further relaxation of restrictions and operating protocols.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. 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.