by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The entertainment sector of the Federation is on the verge of reopening after being shuttered and heavily restricted since the start of the pandemic in 2020.
Some things remain the same, approval must be given, and as with National Carnival, any event will be held at 75 percent venue capacity.
However, the number of restrictions being enforced requires stakeholders in the entertainment sector to seek approval from the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force, St Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue and the Ministry of Health through the office of the Chief Medical Officer.
“Three agencies need to give their approval in order for the event to be able to happen safely. The Commissioner of Police through the police.kn portal. The Ministry of Health through the Chief Medical Officer, and then the Chief Fire Officer. All three have to give their approval in order for your events to happen.”
During a press conference hosted by the Ministry, Minister of Entertainment Akilah Bryon Nisbett said that people intending to host a mass event or any event, must go through the Permanent Secretary’s Office in the Ministry of Entrepreneurship, Communications on Entertainment and Talent Development.
“Going forward, in order for you to host your events, the main thing that you have to bear in mind is the first thing you have to do is to indicate your intent to host the massive event to the ministry. So you come to our ministry, or you provide us with the information of your intent to host an event. That information must include a copy of your business license, as well as other important information such as the contact information of the person who will be hosting events, the proposed date, venue of the events, Start/finish time, anticipated number of persons attending, anticipated ticket costs and the type of event that you are having.”
As was the practice when the entertainment sector was allowed to host limited activities, event promoters and holders will have to apply through the Police via the website https://police.kn/.
The two other approvals include an Emergency Safety Plan.
“Wherever your venue for your event will be held, there must be an emergency plan that must be submitted. That will be followed up with a walkthrough by fire to make sure that the venue will be safe to have the event for you, for your patrons who will be coming to the event, as well as persons who will be participating in events like you artists, your DJs, etc.,” said the Minister.
“Some of the information that will be required for that emergency plan would be the layout of the venue. It would be clearly identifying the entrances, corridors and exits and making sure those are clearly marked; making sure we have enough entrances and exits based on the capacity size for the venue; making sure that we are aware of the location of the stalls and your stage to make sure that it is again safe for the number of persons that will be present. The location and type of fire prevention and control equipment, parking for patrons and emergency agencies, location or other services; that is, food and beverage stands, bathrooms, garbage disposal, etc. Medical Equipment and medical attention capacity at the facility and evacuation plan and procedures.”
Health will require a COVID-19 Compliance Plan as well as other requirements.
“What will be passed to health, in particular, is your COVID-19 Compliance Plan, a copy of your liquor license if you are going to be selling alcoholic beverages, the number of food and beverages stalls that will be at your events and evidence of appropriate food handler’s permits.”
The Minister said she expects the new protocols to be released in the next iteration of the Statutory Rules and Orders (SRO). Between now and then, the protocols could see some changes after consultation with the stakeholders.
The current SRO will expire on Thursday, December 2, 2021.