COVID-19: St Kitts & Nevis declares 14-day state of emergency
Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris
St Kitts and Nevis has declared a 14-day state of emergency in an attempt to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris said effective today, Saturday, all citizens and residents will be subject to a curfew between 7 pm and 5 am each day.
“This is part of our scaled-up response to contain COVID-19 and minimise harm to our people. The emergency powers COVID-19 regulations provide for 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, for example, essential travel to the doctor, to the grocery store, the bank, the credit union, money services, business pharmacy or to refuel their vehicles," he said.
Prime Minister Harris said the regulations also provide for the closure of non-essential businesses and regulate the hours of opening for essential services.
The government has also imposed social-distancing protocol.
Businesses will be required to observe a physical distance of 6 feet between each person both in and outside of their businesses.
Given the congestion in public transport vehicles and the potential for contagion, the government has imposed certain restrictions to protect operators of public transport and their patrons.
The Cabinet remains concerned that people are not faithfully complying with the quarantine restrictions.
PM Harris said: “We cannot have anyone compromise the health and wellbeing and indeed the life of others. In this regard I must advise that strong penalties including fines of up to $5000 or a term of imprisonment can be imposed on those who fail to comply with the regulations. I hope that good sense will prevail.”
The Prime Minister said these are unprecedented times and the dangers posed by the pandemic has resulted in government being forced to impose unusual measures in a bid to protect the people of St Kitts and Nevis.
He said: “As Prime Minister I commit that I shall do what’s right for the people of this Federation. Your best interest is my guide. Let us continue to be calm and to confront this crisis together. I am confident that God will not forsake us and that together we shall overcome.”
As of March 25, St Kitts and Nevis had recorded two confirmed cases.