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HomeNewsLocal NewsPM Announces Ease in Restrictions at National Assembly

PM Announces Ease in Restrictions at National Assembly

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by Kevon Browne

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The St. Kitts and Nevis fight against the COVID-19 virus hit a major milestone this week with an 80 percent national vaccination rate of adults across the islands. This achievement signals the reaching of the benchmark that health officials aimed for to ease restrictions.

According to Health officials, 80.2 percent of the adult population have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Prime Minister the Hon Dr. Timothy Harris, during today’s (December 1) sitting of the National Assembly, announced that some of the proposed easings would come to fruition while other aspects shall remain unchanged in light of the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron.

The five proposed changes included:

*The removal of the barriers at Port Zante, allowing open public access.

*All vaccinated tourists arriving, whether by cruise or air, can then access all COVID-19 approved sites.

*Entertainers will be able to undertake mass events for fully vaccinated persons with a 75 percent capacity.

*The removal of all quarantine and testing requirements for arriving passengers 12 years and over who are fully vaccinated.

*Reduction in the quarantine period for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated persons for 14 days to nine days, as announced by Prime Minister Harris during Leadership Matter on November 24.

How have the five easings changed?

The barriers at Port Zante will remain intact, and quarantine and testing requirements for arriving passengers 12 years and over who are fully vaccinated, including a negative PCR test on arrival, will also remain in play.

However, good news for entertainers and unvaccinated travellers:

“All vaccinated tourists arriving whether by cruise or by air with a negative PCR test can now move freely with access to all tourist sites, beaches, etc.

Entertainers will be able to undertake mass events for fully vaccinated persons with a capacity of 75 percent, that is, 75 percent space capacity.

The quarantine period for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated persons for 14 days to nine days,” said Dr. Harris. These new protocols will come into effect on Friday, December 3.

Although the variant is affecting certain restrictions, the Prime Minister said there would be no travel ban as the variant is already in circulation outside of the southern countries of Africa.

“Our health team has advised that it is not necessary at this time to impose a travel ban on South Africa or on the South African countries,” said the Prime Minister opting to follow the already prescribed public health measure that exists.

So far, the variant has been found in 22 countries worldwide, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, and the Netherlands, according to CNN.

Although first reported in South Africa on November 9, triggering travel bans from multiple countries, international media reports have confirmed that the variant was present in Europe before travel restrictions.

The first to impose travel restrictions from southern countries in Africa was the United Kingdom on November 25. On Tuesday (November 30), Dutch officials said they had detected the variant in a sample collected on November 19 and another on November 23.

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