Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): Event planners in St. Kitts and Nevis are strongly encouraged to adhere to the provisions for hosting social events as outlined in the COVID-19 Prevention and Control Act.
During Wednesday’s (February 03) edition of the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) COVID-19 Briefing, Superintendent of Police, Cromwell Henry, noted that events including those held on public beaches can contribute to an increased risk of the spread of the virus in communities if persons are in breach of not adhering to the health and safety protocols as stipulated in the Act.
“We are well aware that social events bring people together in ways that facilitate the spread of the virus from person to person. Some may say that there is no COVID-19 in the community and that all the cases are contained and are in quarantine – this may be so, but not entirely so. The truth is we do not know when there will be a case of COVID-19 in the community,” said Superintendent Henry.
Section 12 outlines the guidelines for using public beaches. The section clearly states that a person may visit a public beach (a) for the purposes of swimming or exercise; (b) where no more than eight members of the immediate family should be in close proximity to each other; (c) where there shall be no picnics, beach parties or other gatherings; and (d) where all persons shall adhere to social distancing and physical distancing protocols pursuant to section 6.
Section 9 of the COVID-19 Prevention and Control Act speaks specifically to the restriction on social activities. It states that (1) Subject to section 12, no person shall host, attend or visit a social activity or gathering of more than twenty-five persons including (a) a private party; (b) a banquet, ball or reception; (c) any other ceremony in any facility or public place; (d) a meeting of a fraternal society, private or social club or civic association or organization; (e) any public beach, subject to sections 6 and 12; or (f) any other type of social event, except with the written permission of the Commissioner of Police in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer.
“Whenever permission is granted for an event at a specific venue, that permission is not transferrable to another venue. Permission must be sought for any change of venue because changing venue without permission will automatically void the permit,” said the superintendent.
Section 9 further states that (2) A person who contravenes the provisions of this section, commits an offense and shall be liable to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars, and (3) Notwithstanding subsection 2, a police officer or member of a compliance team may in accordance with the provisions of section 8(4) and section 22(2), issue a fixed penalty notice to a person who contravenes the provisions of this section.