Former Prime Minister Sir James Mitchell has described as nonsense the policy of the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines that demands that vaccinated persons arriving in the country undergo COVID-19 quarantine.
“Who will come to St. Vincent to help us recover with our tourism from the volcano disaster if we have this kind of protocol in place? Who will want to come here?” Sir James said recently on Boom FM.
“I would want to go to Barbados and then have to come back to St. Vincent even though I have my certificate [for them] to tell me I have to go into quarantine? Come on! What kind of nonsense is that? And even if you have it done, we can’t have anything for discrimination between the foreigners and ourselves. Come on!”
Sir James, an hotelier, made the point as he urged Vincentians to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
He noted that the United Kingdom has said that if its citizens visit certain countries they have to quarantine on return.
“To come to St. Vincent now, if even you are fully vaccinated — that is the word they have from NEMO and the circulation from the health ministry — if you are fully vaccinated, you have to quarantine for seven days. What the hell is the vaccine for?
“We don’t believe it? Or are we saying that people are corrupt and they get a certificate that is not trusted? It’s a matter of trust. Do you trust the certification in England? Do you trust the certification in Canada, do you trust the certificate in Cuba. If you are fully vaccinated, you must quarantine for seven days.”
Sir James said that what is more, a vaccinated person wanting to travel to St. Vincent must take a COVID test within 72 hours before they arrive.
“Then you must take another test when you arrive at Argyle,” he said, adding that the person must then take another test while in quarantine.
“What nonsense is that? What nonsense is that? I am so upset about the state of St. Vincent that I don’t want to drag into all of these rational arguments when the worries are so emotional,” Sir James said.
“But, nevertheless, facts are facts. Would you, as an Englishwoman, come to St. Vincent with a certificate and to go into quarantine for seven days and you have to take a test in England before you leave, even though you have a vaccine certificate?
“And then, you have to take a test when you arrive in Argyle. But when you are leaving England, these vaccine certificates that we’re getting free out here is 180 pounds in England, US$120 in Miami. Those are the facts. I know I had a test in Mustique and I was surprised when my partner over there tell me she had to pay for my test,” the former prime minister said.
The lastestCOVID-19 protocols now say that fully vaccinated persons only have to quarantine for 48 hours.