SVG US Consulate formally re-opens

Consul General of St Vincent and the Grenadines to the USA, Howie Prince.
Photo by Nelson. A. King

The New York-based Consul General of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the USA, Howie Prince, says the Consulate General was expected to formally reopen on Wednesday amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Prince told Caribbean Life on Friday that the Consulate, in mid-town Manhattan, was closed to in-person business since March 16, 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the formal re-opening, the consul general said hours will be limited to the public from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, Monday to Friday.

“While people are free to walk into the Consulate during the days and times indicated above, you are encouraged to call the Consulate (212-687-4490) to make an appointment for your visit,” said Prince in a subsequent statement.

“Making an appointment will facilitate ease of entry into our building due to the fact that all businesses in the building are required by the building management to so do,” he added. “While entering the building, everyone is required to have his/her temperature taken. Please cooperate with the building security personnel.”

Prince said everyone will be required to wear face mask/covering during his/her entire visit to the Consulate.

“Kindly observe and practice the social distancing protocols in place at the building for your safety,” he urged.

“The Consulate expresses gratitude to everyone for your forbearance regarding our limited service, as this pandemic continues to unfold,” he added. “We look forward to welcoming and serving you at the Consulate during your next visit.”

Meantime, in a notice to all airlines, dated on July 30, St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Argyle International Airport (AIA), through the Coronavirus Task Force of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, has issued “Requirements for passengers from the USA.”

“As we continue to put systems in place to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, please note below the requirements for passengers entering St. Vincent and the Grenadines from the USA on scheduled commercial flights,” said the statement, adding that “all travelers (residents and visitors) arriving from the USA, even if originating from a Canadian port, must have a reservation for five nights at a Tourism Authority/MOHWE-approved hotel to enter SVG (St. Vincent and the Grenadines).”

The statement also said that all travelers (residents and visitors) arriving from the USA, even if originating from a Canadian port, “must have a negative SARS-CoV-2 PCR test result to enter SVG.”

It said SARS-CoV-2 PCR results up to seven days old will be accepted.

“Older results will only be accepted with special authorization by the Health Services Subcommittee/Coronavirus Taskforce,” the statement said.

It said that passengers so authorized would need to present evidence of that acceptance when checking in.

“Only SARS-CoV-2 IgM antibody test results will be accepted with special authorization by the Health Services Subcommittee/Coronavirus Taskforce,” the statement stressed. “No IgG antibody results will be accepted.”

It said this also applies to passengers from the US who transfer to another airline at a regional hub.

The Corona Virus Task Force of SVG said no exemptions would be granted regarding the above requirements, stating that the airline is “required to ensure that ALL passengers boarded provide evidence of compliance.”

In addition, the task force said that all travelers, except from the USA, arriving in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, “can either arrive with a negative PCR (no more than 5 days old) or will have to undergo a test on arrival.

“Once a test is done on arrival, mandatory, (Medical Officer Order) self-quarantine (24 hours to 36 hours) must be adhered to until contacted with results,” the statement said.

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