Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Saint Kitts and Nevis announces new movement restrictions and business schedule May 9-15 due to COVID 19 activity.

This alert affects Saint Kitts and Nevis

This alert began 08 May 2020 09:42 GMT and is scheduled to expire 15 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: May 9-15
  • Impact: Major international and internal transport and business disruptions, increased security

Authorities in Saint Kitts and Nevis have announced a new schedule of movement restrictions, curfew measures, and increased business operating hours between May 9-15. Restrictive measures were first announced March 31 as part of a state of emergency to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

May 9-10:A 24-hour curfew will be enforced daily, under which all businesses and establishments will remain closed, except health facilities, pharmacies, and security and emergency services. Residents will not be allowed to leave their homes except to procure medical services and medicine or if participating in the provision of critical services.

May 11-15: A nightly curfew will be enforced 2200-0500. Residents will be able to leave their homes outside curfew times to stock up on essential goods and for limited exercise. Beaches will be opened 0530-0900 for swimming and exercise only, provided individuals maintain 1.8 meters (6 feet) between each other. Limited business operations will continue; restrictions on operating days and hours will be relaxed May 11-15. Establishments that previously closed at 1900 may open until 2000 daily, and those that previously closed at 1700 may open until 1800 daily. Businesses are required to enforce strict social and physical distancing protocols and enhanced sanitation measures. Individuals are required to wear to form of covering over their mouths and noses in all public spaces.

The government previously ordered the closure of all air and seaports to arriving nonresidents, legal residents, and nationals March 25, until further notice. Cargo and medical aircraft and vessels are not affected. The measures in place will significantly impact business and transport in the country, and an increased police presence is likely. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The restrictive measures are similar to actions taken by other governments globally in response to the spread of COVID-19, a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic March 11. Some governments have begun relaxing certain domestic restrictive measures in response to indications that the spread of the disease has been adequately contained locally, and due to the need to allow for some economic recovery. Saint Kitts and Nevis has indicated that restrictions will continue to gradually be eased over the coming weeks. Should the number of COVID-19 cases significantly increase, relaxed restrictions may be reapplied. Likewise, a continued low number of cases may result in further relaxation of restrictions.

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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