Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Saint Kitts and Nevis authorities extend the curfew period through April 9. Severe business disruptions are likely.

This alert affects Saint Kitts and Nevis

This alert began 03 Apr 2020 14:20 GMT and is scheduled to expire 09 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least 1900 April 9
  • Impact: Entry restrictions, internal movement restrictions, transport and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Saint Kitts and Nevis will impose additional curfew measures April 3-9 as part of a state of emergency to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). An overnight curfew will be enforced 1900-0600 April 3-4. Residents will be allowed to purchase food and essential items during the daytime hours April 3 and 4. The 24-hour curfew will be reinstated from 1900 April 4-1900 April 9. All businesses and establishments will be closed during the total curfew, except health facilities and pharmacies; security and emergency services are also exempt. Residents will not be allowed to leave their homes except to procure medical services and medicine, or if participating in the provision of emergency, security, and health services.

The government previously ordered the closure of all air and sea ports to arriving nonresidents, legal residents, and nationals March 25-April 7. Cargo and medical aircraft and vessels are not affected. The measures in place will significantly impact business and transport in the country, with larger than usual police presence in the streets. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures are similar to actions taken by other governments globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic March 11.

Advice
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.

Resources
World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int