The Health Services Sub-Committee of the National Emergency Management Organisation, NEMO, has issued an Updated Advisory on the conduct of Elections in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, during the Covid 19 Pandemic.
The Committee said the aim is to have the safe conduct of elections in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in a manner that reduces the risk of the transmission of COVID-19.
It said the updated measures were agreed on, during a meeting chaired by the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Christian Council on Wednesday, October 28, which was attended by the Supervisor of Elections, the Attorney General, the Chief Medical Officer and representatives of all political parties contesting the November 5, General Elections
In its updated Advisory, the Committee said eligible Voters who are in day 6 to day 14 of quarantine will vote from 5:00 pm to 5:30 pm on Thursday November 5th.
As a result, during 5:00 pm to 5:30 pm on Thursday November 5, only Voters in day 6 to 14 of quarantine, holding the appropriate Medical Officer’s Order will be allowed to vote.
The Committee stressed that there will be no mixing of Voters in quarantine with general Voters. It said where general Voters are still in the queue at 5:00 pm waiting to vote, the Voters holding the appropriate Medical Officer’s Order, will wait until the general Voters have voted, before entering the queue.
The Committee said Voters in day 6 to day 14 of quarantine are considered to be of low risk potential to transmit COVID-19 to others, having arrived with a negative PCR result and having had day 1 and day 5 negative PCR results.
Eligible Voters who are on day 6 to day 14 of quarantine due to the possible exposure to COVID-19, will be provided with a Medical Officer’s Order detailing the quarantine period excluding 5:00 pm to 5:30 pm on November 5, 2020. This will allow the holder to leave their quarantine sites to vote at their allocated polling station in accordance with the provisions made by or under the Representation of the People Act, Cap.
All eligible Voters granted the appropriate Medical Officer’s Order must wear a face mask for the entire duration of the period out of their quarantine site and follow all instructions in terms of spacing and sanitization.
All eligible Voters granted the appropriate Medical Officer’s Order must travel to and from the allotted polling station in a vehicle which allows sufficient spacing between the suitably masked elector/voter and the suitably masked driver. The transportation of these Voters to and from their quarantine sites will be the responsibility of the Voter and not the Electoral Office or the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment.
And, the Committee said Voters who are isolated as positive COVID-19 cases, or on day 1 to 5 of quarantine due to the possible exposure to COVID-19, will not be allowed to leave their quarantine or isolation sites to vote.
It said these persons are considered to be of high risk and medium risk potential respectively, to transmit COVID-19 to others.
The Health Services Subcommittee said it will make available to the Electoral Office, lists of the names of all travelers 18 years and older, arriving in St. Vincent and the Grenadines between the period October 22, to November 4, and subsequently quarantined.
The Electoral Office will from this list of arrivals, prepare a list of the eligible Voters who are in quarantine. These Voters will be provided with a Medical Officer’s Order detailing their quarantine period which will exclude 5:00 pm to 5:30 pm on November 5, 2020, to allow the holder to leave their quarantine sites to vote.