Thursday 22 October, 2020

COVID-19: PM Harris announces 24-hour curfew for St Kitts & Nevis

St Kitts and Nevis has tightened restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Late last night (Monday, March 30), Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris announced that effective today (Tuesday, March 31) citizens will be forced to adhere to a 24-hour curfew.

Despite a clear statement that citizens must stay at home except in limited situations, PM Harris said a number of individuals chose to blatantly disregard the regulations put in place to slow the virus and protect the people of St Kitts and Nevis.

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Because of this, he said:

“The Cabinet of Ministers has determined that, after consultation with the Police High Command, the National COVID-19 Working Group, the Chief Medical Officer and the Medical Chief of Staff of the JNF General Hospital, that there be a 24 hour curfew, a total lockdown, from 7pm Tuesday, 31st March to 6am Friday, 3rd April in the first instance. It means that the current regulations will be repealed and new regulations made in which no one except the Security Forces and other Security Personnel, the HealthCare Officers, technical emergency officers of utilities including telecoms, and media personnel, will be allowed out of their residences."

That announcement came just two days after the Prime Minister declared a 14-day state of emergency.

Prime Minister Harris said: “We will not hesitate to prosecute those found in breach of the Emergency Powers Regulations. We are in a war and we must win. Together we must be united with all of us doing our part to ensure our safety, that of our families, communities and by extension our beloved country. This is not a time for reckless behaviour. Sober, responsible behaviour is essential.”

On the issue of food, he said there is no need for impulsive buying as there is an adequate supply of food on hand.

He said:

“This week alone some 57 containers are arriving with food, vegetables and beverages. The short point is that vessels are coming on schedule every week.  Do not crowd shopping centres to purchase and stockpile food that may very well expire and ultimately be a waste of money, as you would have to dispose of it.  An adequate supply is on hand for the next six to eight weeks.”

Drawing reference to the national motto, "country above self", Prime Minister Harris encouraged citizens to adhere to the rules and regulations which he said were put in place for their safety and ultimately that of their beloved country.

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