Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 11, 2021 (SKNIS): The borders in St. Kitts and Nevis remain open and there is no 24-hour lockdown that was implemented.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of non-pharmaceutical measures colloquially known as lockdowns including stay-at-home orders, curfews, quarantines, and societal restrictions were established to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
In a national address delivered by Prime Minister Dr. The Hon. Timothy Harris on June 11, 2021, further restrictions were implemented to stem the tide of COVID-19 transmissions brought about by community spread that the country is presently confronted with.
“Over the past few weeks, our beloved country has been faced with an outbreak of a cluster of cases brought on by the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused so much havoc across the world. As a result of this outbreak, certain restrictions had been introduced in our Federation to curtail the transmission of the virus, such as a limited curfew and regulations governing public transport,” Prime Minister Harris said.
The prime minister said that based on the rising cases of transmission of the virus, which has seen 111 new cases in a few short weeks, his government is deeply concerned and had to introduce new and stringent measures to curb the rapid spread after advice received from the Ministry of Health and the country’s medical team.
“This is of deep concern to me and my Government. Our number one priority in this fight against COVID-19 is and has always been, to keep our people safe and we will do whatever it takes to protect our people. Thankfully, sixty-one (61) of these cases are fully recovered while ninety-four (94) remain active, with four (4) hospitalized and one (1) being very ill,” he lamented.
The Government has issued a stay-at-home order and implemented an extended curfew for 14 days from Saturday 12th June, 2021 to Saturday 26th June, 2021, in the first instance. The curfew is from 6:00 pm to 5:00 am daily. Persons are asked to restrict their movement except for essential business.
“All essential businesses and offices may continue their business operations by allowing their employees to work remotely from home, utilizing virtual means, unless those employees are permitted to work under special exemption or are designated as being essential workers. Where a business is unable to continue its business operations by its employees working remotely from home, the business shall cease its operations for the next two weeks in the first instance. All persons employed within the Public Service, a Statutory Body, a State-owned Enterprise, or the Courts shall work remotely from home, except as may otherwise be directed by the Cabinet Secretary,” Prime Minister Harris said.
Other restrictions to “break the virus transmission cycle and cause the cases to fall” include:
All gaming establishments will be closed; Absolutely no mass events; Beaches are to be used for the purpose of exercise only during this period; No street vending for the next fourteen (14) days in the first instance; Vending will only be allowed at the public market with controlled spaces, where strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols must be observed; There will be no in-person dining at Restaurants and Bars. However, take-out and delivery will be permitted; Security officers will be enforcing protocols with respect to social distancing and mask-wearing. Persons not in compliance will be penalized, and Ferry service operations will be subject to heightened restrictions to curtail non-essential inter-island travel.
Prime Minister Harris made a plea for persons to not only adhere to the non-pharmaceutical measures but urged those who are eligible to be vaccinated to do so at the earliest time.
“I urge you to actively support vaccinations, actively support the Federation’s vaccination programme and encourage your family, friends, and loved ones who should be vaccinated to do so now,” he said.
In quoting the World Health Organization (WHO), he said:
“…There is a reduced risk of developing the illness and its consequences. This immunity helps you fight the virus if exposed. Getting vaccinated may also protect people around you because if you are protected from getting infected and from disease, you are less likely to infect someone else. This is particularly important to protect people at increased risk…”