Yesterday March 28th, 2020, effective from 7.00pm, the Federal Government declared a State of Emergency as part of its effort to intensify the national response to contain and control the COVID-19 virus and lessen the impact on the health of the people of the Federation.
The Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations is quite detailed and identities specific Sections which provides guidelines to the business community, including those that qualify to operate as essential and non-essential service providers during this State of Emergency.
The Regulations require every person to remain confined to their place of residence, inclusive of their yard space, to avoid contact outside of their family except in stipulated circumstances such as essential travel to the doctor, grocery store, bank, credit union, money services, business, pharmacy or to refuel vehicles.
Businesses are required to facilitate their workers to Work remotely from home under Section 3 where “all businesses and offices may continue their business operations by allowing their employees to work remotely from home utilizing virtual means, unless they are permitted to work under regulation 5 or are designated as being essential workers under regulation 7, and, where a business is unable to continue its business operations by its employees working remotely from home, the business shall cease its operations”.
The Regulations also require the closure of non-essential businesses and regulate the hours of opening for essential services. Sections 2. 3. 5 and 6, on pages 1, 2 and 3 provides detailed information addressing: Restriction on freedom of movement; Work remotely from home; Closure of businesses and exceptions and Social distancing and physical distancing protocols.
Under Section 5 – Closure of Businesses and exception and Section 6 – Social Distancing and physical distancing protocols might be of additional interest to the Private Sector. More details on these two sections along with overall details of the Regulations can be obtained by clicking on the website: SAINT CHRISTOPHER AND NEVIS STATUTORY RULES AND ORDERS No. of 2020 Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations | SKNIS
The Chamber encourages everyone to comply with the requirements of the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations and apply the protocols. At all times they should observe the law.
Businesses will be required to observe a physical distance of 6 feet between its customers inside and outside of their businesses to reduce the chances of infection by applying social distancing protocols.
Failure to comply with the curfew and other requirements of the Emergency Powers (Covin-19) Regulations can result in strong penalties including fines of up to $5000 and/or a term of imprisonment of up to 6 months can be imposed on those who break the law.
The Chamber will continue to share factual information from the competent authorities to the business community and the public at large through direct communication, through the local radio and TV stations and our website (https://sknchamber.com). Staying reliably informed can help us to manage the spread of this virus while at the same time ensuring some level of protection for our business community and the general public.
Preparedness over panic is key.
Thank you and God Bless.