BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, September 23, 2020 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – As the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis continues to advocate for citizens and residents to adhere to all non-pharmaceutical requirements with respect to COVID-19, a special call is being made to event promoters in the Federation to find and adapt new, creative ways of delivering entertainment to their patrons in a safe environment.
This issue of overcrowded functions was raised by callers to the Tuesday, September 22 edition of the virtual forum series, Leadership Matters, and was addressed by the Minister responsible for Health, the Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett.
Minister Byron-Nisbett reminded the nation that we, like the rest of the world, must adjust to the new norm of living with the COVID-19 virus and are expected to make changes to our respective lifestyles.
“We’ve been asking the churches, the schools, business places to change the way in which they do business and how they operate, and it is no different for events as well,” said the Honourable Byron-Nisbett, who also heads the new Ministry of Entertainment, Entrepreneurship and Talent Development.
The minister added that, “Promoters need to start thinking about new and creative ways in which they can be able to provide the same level of entertainment to their participants but within a safe environment, preparing them for what can be the second wave of COVID-19.”
The honourable minister said they are in no way asking promoters to end their livelihoods but rather, “what we are asking you to do is to think about how you can offer your same entertainment within the confines of COVID-19.”
Minister Byron-Nisbett used the Independence 37 celebrations as an example, noting that this year’s celebratory events had to be curtailed and refined in order to meet the standards and requirements established to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris also spoke on the matter of overcrowded events. He noted that while promoters should comply with COVID-19 protocols as their respective functions, some level of responsibility also falls on patrons themselves to take their own health and safety seriously.
“I would want to encourage every citizen and resident that when you attend a particular function and you notice that the function is going out of order as we would say that your best judgement should advise you to leave that particular event. If the event and the space are getting overcrowded, then you are at risk. Let your good judgement, let your common sense advise you to leave that event,” Prime Minister Harris added.
Minister Byron-Nisbett strongly urged promoters to ensure that all protocols are adhered to at their events as “it’s going to be very difficult, especially from a Ministry of Health point of view, to continue to allow the events to happen if our promoters are not ensuring that they practice the proper protocols.”