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UPDATED ADVISORY ON THE CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS IN SVG DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

AIM: The safe conduct of elections in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in a manner that reduces the risk of the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
OBJECTIVES:

  1. Minimize the potential for creating COVID-19 super-spreader events.
  2. Reduce the potential of spread of COVID-19 at polling stations on Election Day.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines has recorded seventy-three (73) COVID-19 cases as of Friday, October 23, 2020. There are nine (9) active cases in isolation. There is currently no evidence of local or community spread of COVID-19 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. This advisory recognizes the increased risk of the introduction and spread of SARS-CoV-2 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines due to the arrival of travelers from countries with rising cases of COVID-19. The following measures are strongly recommended:

a. Rallies and Meetings:

  1. All campaign rallies and meetings should be held outdoors with sufficient space to avoid crowding.
  2. The use of facial coverings by all persons attending rallies and meetings is strongly recommended.

b. Procedures at polling stations on election day:

  1. All polling station workers and officials will wear face coverings/masks at all times and will regularly sanitize their hands or change their gloves.
  2. All voters/electors should wear masks/face coverings while at the polling station.
  3. Voters/electors should maintain at least three (3) feet of spacing while waiting in line to vote.
  4. Hand sanitization will be implemented before and during the voting process:
    a. Before the removal of face covering to allow for the verification of identity.
    b. After the replacement of the face covering after the verification of identity.
    c. Before dipping finger in the indelible ink well.

c. Procedures for electors/voters in quarantine (day 5 to day 14):

  1. All eligible voters/electors under a quarantine order will be issued a temporary waiver of quarantine for a specified period on November 5, 2020 to allow voting at the polling station allotted to them in accordance with the provisions made by, or under the Representation of the People Act, Cap. 9.
  2. All eligible voters/electors granted a temporary waiver of quarantine 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.
  3. All eligible voters/electors granted a temporary waiver of quarantine must travel to the allotted polling station and from the allotted polling station in a vehicle which allows sufficient spacing between the suitably masked elector/voter and the suitably masked driver.

d. Procedures for electors/voters in quarantine (day 1 to day 5) and in isolation:

  1. All eligible voters/electors under a quarantine/isolation order will be issued a temporary waiver of quarantine/isolation for a specified period on November 5, 2020 to allow voting at the polling station allotted to them in accordance with the provisions made by or under the Representation of the People Act, Cap. 9.
  2. All eligible voters/electors granted a temporary waiver of quarantine/isolation must wear a face mask for the duration of the period out of their quarantine/isolation site and follow all instructions in terms of spacing and sanitization. All polling station staff will wear full PPE (gown, mask and gloves) while interacting with these electors/voters.
  3. All eligible voters/electors granted a temporary waiver of quarantine/isolation must travel to the allotted polling station 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 Health Services Subcommittee of the National Emergency Committee will submit to the Electoral Office a list of the names of all Commonwealth travelers 18 years and older, arriving in St. Vincent and the Grenadines between the period October 22, 2020 to November 4, 2020 and subsequently quarantined. The Electoral Office will issue a list of the eligible electors/voters who would in turn be provided with a temporary waiver of quarantine/isolation.

The Supervisor of Elections and the Attorney General are in discussions in relation to the specific time period to be assigned for voting on November 5, 2020, by eligible electors/voters in quarantine or isolation. During this specific time period, only electors/voters in quarantine or isolation will vote. There will be no mixing of electors/voters in quarantine or isolation with the general electors/voters.

A meeting, chaired by the Christian Council, will be held during the week of October 26th to 30th with the leaders of all political parties participating in the November 5 General Elections, to discuss and agree on the Health Protocol for the conduct of General Elections in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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