Now that we are going to sail up to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), we must follow certain rules that SVG has for visitors to the country.
The rules that we sailors must follow are described in the document.
On the web page http://health.gov.vc/health/index.php/covid-19-protocols-documents there are links to the various documents you will use in connection with the application. Here you also find a link to general rules for traveling to SVG.
In that document, they have changed the time for how old the PCR test can be when traveling from a middle-risk country. The document stating the rules for arrival by boat still has 5 days. So if you do not have the opportunity to arrange a PCR test within 3 days of your arrival, check with SVG Arrivals what applies.
Although the rules are quite simple, the instructions are still not clear and I will try to make it easy for you as a reader to know what applies now, in mid-December 2020, by describing how we did when we applied to sail to Saint Vincent from Grenada.
The picture below shows what different things we did, who we had to deal with and when in time we needed to do something.
Comments on the graphical description above
- The document Request quarantine onboard.pdf can be downloaded from http://health.gov.vc/health/images/PDF/stories/YACHTS_Request_for_Quarantine_Onboard_nov.pdf. I filled in the document on my computer and then I could attach the file in the email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember to enter the date of your scheduled Departure PCR-test in the e-mail.
- After a few hours, a reply mail sent to you with OK on the arrival date and place, as well as the date and time for the Arrival PCR-test. Since I had forgot to write the scheduled date for the Departure PCR-test, I had to send a separate email about it.
- When you know that they have reserved a quarantine place and time for your Arrival PCR-test, it is time for you to arrange your Departure PCR-test so that you take it a maximum of 3 days before you expect to arrive at the quarantine place at SVG. We took the test at General Hospital in St George. They do PCR tests 8-10 every weekday and we got there at 7.45 on a Monday and were almost first. We spoke to one of the caretakers (green shirts) who helped us to the different places. We had to start at the checkout outside the lab, where we paid for the test (410 XCD per person). Then go up the stairs to the lab to register for sampling. Here we told that we wanted an answer via e-mail. Then on to the sampling point, which is a short distance away, at the emergency department.We were able to leave the hospital around 8.30, very smoothly.
- We got our answers after 24 hours.
- Every person who is to travel to SVG must fill in the Pre-travel form on the page
- The email confirming that they have received your application states that you answered No to the last question even if you answered Yes.
Are you in possession of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from an accredited lab taken within 5 days of travel to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines?
We commented this when we forward the mail.
- Forward the confirmation email to email@example.com and attach the answer to your PCR test.
- We got the decision that we were welcome after just under 3 hours. The email contains the PDF file Request quarantine onboard.pdf that you emailed in step 1. Now with the Approved stamp on the last page, see image below.
- Now that you have a decision that you are welcome to SVG, you can check out from Grenada without risking not being admitted to any other country
Arrival in St Vincent
On arrival in St Vincent, you must report when approaching the quarantine anchorage, we had read that it would be done about 1 hour before the estimated arrival. For arrival on Union Island, it was a little too early. We did not receive an answer until we could call them (+1 784 458 86 78), in this case, the Bouganvilla Jetty.
Just outside the harbor, we called them on the VHF and asked for help to moor a buoy in the quarantine area (you have to stay by a buoy there). We are met by a dinghy and are shown to the buoy and we get help to get the mooring lines through the buoy. The quarantine area consists of the outer buoys in the harbor.
After about 1 hour, they call us on the VHF and ask if we can come to the quarantine bridge (Bouganvilla jetty) for a PCR test in 15 min. It’s just us there, so it’s done quickly.
To be continued when we are released from quarantine …