by Eulana Weekes
St.Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Inspector Cromwell Henry of The Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force has cleared the air on details related to the reopening of the entertainment and sporting sectors in the Federation.
Early in January, Minister of Labour, the Hon Wendy Phipps informed the general public of the Cabinet’s decision to restrict permissions for the hosting of events with mass gatherings. This was due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the country at that time. The restriction was intended to remain in effect until March 2022.
However, Inspector Henry recalled the announcement last week by Prime Minister the Hon Dr Timothy Harris, where he declared that restrictions of mass gatherings will be lifted.
Henry said, “ Due to the good cooperation of you, the public, we saw a steady decline in the number of new COVID-19 cases and a significant reduction in the number of active cases long before March.”
He added, “As a result, the Cabinet, on the advice of the National COVID-19 Task Force, removed this restriction effective February 12.”
Though restrictions on mass gatherings have been lifted, Inspector Henry clearly stated that the protocols listed in the COVID-19 Prevention and Control Act remain in effect.
“The COVID-19 Prevention and Control Act which sets out the procedures and protocols, which are intended to prevent the spread of the virus, has not been amended. All the protocols and procedures for bars and restaurants, sports and other social activities remain the same. The basic guideline and requirement to hosting social events with more than 25 persons and for events where bands or deejays are expected to play in any public place, needs an application for permission, sent to the Commissioner of Police via our website, police.kn.”
According to the Inspector, the police are very generous with permissions at this time but are very particular with the number of persons attending events in enclosed buildings; considering the risk that overcrowded enclosed spaces may pose.
Inspector Henry appealed to organisers of events to pay close attention to the size and type of venues during the course of planning; and suggested the use of outdoor venues, as they are much safer than enclosed spaces.