SVG New York Consulate closes for in-person business until further notice

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Consul General to the United States, Howie Prince.
Photoby Nelson A. King

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Consul General to the United States Howie Prince says the Consulate General in midtown Manhattan will be closed to in-person business until further notice in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“As a result of the PAHO- (Pan American Health Organization) declared pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus and in keeping with the advisories regarding social distancing to curtail the spread from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), as well as those of the Governor of the State of New York and the Mayor’s Office of NYC, we hereby announce that the Consulate General of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the USA will be closed to in-person business from Wednesday Mar., 18, 2020 until further notice,” said Prince in a statement.

“During the period of closure, applications for passports can be made via mail,” he said. “Applicants are encouraged to include an additional US$21.00 to have the completed passport returned to the applicant by FedEx.”

Prince said applicants for Emergency Travel Documents can be made via email to [email protected].

“Please include a telephone number where we can reach you to help in expediting your application,” he said. “We will monitor the situation regarding the return to normalcy and will move to resume normal business practices as soon as it is rendered safe to do so.”

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Consul General to the United States is located at 801 Second Ave., Fourth Floor, New York, NY, 10017.

Meantime, according to a statement from The Office of the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Dr. Ralph E. Gonsalves, on Thursday, Mar. 19, 2020, “Cabinet considered recommendations from the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, and took the following decisions: Approval was granted to maintain the status quo as it relates to travelers from the undermentioned countries, who will be quarantined for 14 days – Iran, China, South Korea, Italy.”

In addition, the statement said that “all persons arriving from the following countries are required to self-quarantine for 14 days – United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK), European Union (EU) Member Countries.”

The statement said this will take effect from Monday, Mar. 23, 2020, from 6:00 a.m.

“All persons with a travel history, including countries not listed above, will be allowed entry once no symptoms of the COVID-19 virus are exhibited,” The Office of the Prime Minister said. “Upon entering this country, all persons will be issued with a card containing the COVID19 hotline number and indicating that they are required by law to report any symptom of the COVID-19 virus, which may develop after entry and during their stay in this country.

“If symptoms develop, the affected person will be isolated and tested,” it added.

The statement said social distancing is recommended for members of the household of any person under quarantine.

It said that the Government, having consulted the various stakeholders and in the context of all the circumstances, advises that activities for the Bequia Easter Regatta and the Union Island Easter Festival be cancelled.

“The Government reminds all interested persons that the airports and seaports of St. Vincent and the Grenadines remain open, and protocols as enunciated officially will apply,” the statement said. “Under the existing laws, the relevant officials are authorized, in special circumstances, to take other health or security measures as may be deemed necessary.”