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HomeNewsLocal NewsSKN Under State of Emergency Amid COVID-19 Spread

SKN Under State of Emergency Amid COVID-19 Spread

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by Kevon Browne

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) – Governor General Sir SW Tapley Seaton Tuesday declared a State of Emergency in St. Kitts and Nevis effective Tuesday, June 15 until Saturday, June 26.

That declaration annulled/repealed/voided (or canceled) earlier regulations announced on Saturday, June 12.

In other words, the Statutory Rules and Orders (SRO)21 of 2021 are replaced by SRO 24 of 2021.

So, what’s different?

Many of the same rules apply as it pertains to restriction of movement.

However, there are some differences;

  • No person shall visit a public beach on the island of Saint Christopher, except with the written permission of the Commissioner of Police, and
  • The suspension of all retail liquor licenses.

The biggest difference observed in SRO 24 is the separate regulations for the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Nevis has one active case of coronavirus while St. Kitts has recorded 179 active cases, according to the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws. St. Kitts has recorded 229 confirmed cases since last year while Nevis has recorded 15.

Regulations for Nevis are:

  • All businesses and offices can continue business operations by allowing remote work or if its employees can practice social distancing and physical distancing.
  • Employees of Public Service, Statutory Bodies, and State-owned Enterprises are to work from home unless otherwise instructed.
  • The Courts (Magistrates Courts and the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court) shall remain accessible employees are to work remotely from home.
  • Similarly to St. Kitts, no in-dining at restaurants, but food delivery or food take away services are allowed.
  • All retail liquor licenses are Suspended on Nevis.
  • Similar to SRO 21, a person may visit a public beach only for swimming or exercise.
  • No picnics, beach parties, or other gatherings.

Failure to comply with these regulations may result in an EC $5000 fine, imprisonment up to six months, or both.

The Governor General’s declaration comes at a time when the country is tackling an outbreak of COVID-19 with 244 confirmed cases, 180 active cases, 64 recovered, and no death recorded.

A state of emergency is a government declaration that, according to the Justice and Community Safety Directorate, may:

  • Suspend certain normal functions of government.
  • Alert the community to the situation and request they alter their normal behaviors
  • Order government agencies to implement emergency preparedness plans
  • Suspending certain civil liberties during periods of civil disorder.
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