Schools across St. Vincent and the Grenadines close today, one week early ahead of the normal Easter vacation.

The decision was taken by the Government following a consultation earlier this week, with the heads of Secondary and primary schools, both public and private, as well as pre-schools both public and private.

The decision to close early comes against the backdrop of ongoing concerns over the possible spread of COVID-19 in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said.

Dr. Gonsalves said although there are no transmissions in St. Vincent and the Grenadines as opposed to New York City and other countries, the decision was still made to close schools here, due to concerns and fear by some parents and teachers about the spread of the virus here f the pending closure schools are being encouraged to make all necessary arrangements for exams among other things. They are also encouraged to await official information from CXC regarding CSEC and CPEA and not to listen to rumours.

Meantime, the Ministry of Education has announced that all school sporting activities have been postponed until further notice. These include the Inter-Primary and Secondary Schools Sports, and the Cricket and Volley Ball finals. The Primary Schools Performing Arts Festival (PRISPAF) has also been put on hold.

The Ministry of Education in conjunction with the Ministry of Health met with the heads of schools across St Vincent and the Grenadines today March 16 th , 2020 to advise them on the current situation with COVID-19, the possible impacts on schools, actions to be taken to safeguard the schools population and closure of schools.

The consultation was addressed by Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Ralph Gonsalves, Permanet Secretary in the Ministry of Education Myccle Burke, Chief Education Officer Elizabeth Walker, Dr Charmine Bailey-Rogers, Dr. Jerold Thompson, and Chief Health Educator Ms. Patsy Whyllie.

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