Severity: Critical Alert
Entry/Exit: Saint Kitts and Nevis relaxes movement and business restrictions, but maintains port closures and curfew through June 13 due to COVID-19.
This alert affects Saint Kitts and Nevis
This alert began 25 May 2020 14:14 GMT and is scheduled to expire 12 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Significant travel, transport, and business disruptions, increased security
Prime Minister Timothy Harris announced the extension of restrictive measures, but with some easing of business and movement restrictions, through at least June 13. Restrictive measures were first announced March 31 as part of a state of emergency to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The government will maintain a curfew 2000-0500 Monday-Friday and 1900-0500 on Saturdays and Sundays, for all except critical services. Only authorized essential businesses may operate outside the curfew time. Businesses are still required to enforce strict social and physical distancing protocols and enhanced sanitation measures. Individuals are required to wear a mask over their mouths and noses in all public spaces. Some restrictions that will be relaxed are:
- The hours for limited economic operations will be expanded to 0500-2000 Monday-Friday and 0500-1900 on Saturdays and Sundays.
- Fishermen will be permitted to operate from 2100 during the curfew hours.
- Beaches will be opened for swimming and exercising only for an expanded time frame between 0530-1000, provided individuals maintain a distance of 1.8 meters (6 feet) between each other.
- Churches may open for services 0700-1700 on Saturdays and Sundays under additional health protocols.
The government previously ordered the closure of all air and sea ports to arriving nonresidents, legal residents, and nationals March 25, until further notice. Cargo, commercial courier, and medical aircraft and vessels are not affected. All measures 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 continues to expand business operating hours outside the ongoing curfew, but 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.