Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 25, 2021 (SKNIS): Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, said that five major adjustments will be made when the Federation achieves 80 percent vaccination status for adults.
During the November 23 edition of Leadership Matters, Prime Minister Harris indicated that health experts in St. Kitts and Nevis advised that if the Federation achieves 80 percent coverage among adults it “will give us a significant buffer to absorb more risk and therefore safely open our economy without putting a significant strain on our health system.”
“If we achieve this major milestone in our vaccination coverage, we can see the following: the barriers at Port Zante being removed. The barriers are erected principally to protect our citizens and residents. The high vaccination coverage will provide an immunity barrier against COVID-19 instead of the physical fencing barrier. Port Zante then will become accessible to all,” he said. “Security officials will ensure compliance with mask-wearing and other non-pharmaceutical measures. Restaurants, businesses, outlets, and offices must enforce the protocols. The removal of the barriers will allow greater business activity and wider access to goods and services to all at Port Zante. More businesses will share in the increasing commercial activity. This will lead to more job opportunities.”
Additionally, “All vaccinated tourists arriving whether by cruise or air can then have access to COVID-19 approved sites like Brimstone Hill, Caribelle Batik, Black Rocks, etc. Entertainers will be able to undertake mass events for fully vaccinated persons with 75 percent space capacity,” said the prime minister. “A negative PCR test will remain the standard for persons to enter the Federation but we can see the removal of all quarantine and testing requirements for arriving passengers 12 years and over who are fully vaccinated. This will be a significant economic development as the vaccinated visitors will have the ability to integrate immediately into our community.”
Equally important, Prime Minister Harris said that St. Kitts and Nevis “will be able to reduce the quarantine period for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated persons from 14 days to 9 days.”
“This measure will assist our elderly citizens to return home, undergo a shorter quarantine period while at the same time reduce the risk to our people. In other words, we are moving in a phased way to relax restrictions as we achieve higher levels of vaccination,” he said. “Reaching the 80 percent adult population immunity coverage will allow us to ease more of the entry restrictions and improve our competitiveness as a tourist destination. The results will be even higher arrivals, more jobs for our people, higher incomes and more opportunities.”
Prime Minister Harris encouraged every adult, as well as every student above 12 years old to get vaccinated.
A special appeal was particularly made for frontline workers, police officers, crossing guards, nurses, fire officers, security personnel, health emergency technicians, teachers and teaching assistants, sportsmen and women to get vaccinated.