by Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Chairman of the National COVID-19 task force Abdias Samuels provided insight into the ongoing challenges of repatriation back to St. Kitts following cancellations caused by COVID-19.
Speaking at the NEOC Covid-19 Press Briefing on Wednesday, January 19, Mr. Samuels addressed the challenges being experienced by persons requesting entry into the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Samuels said, once the flight has been cancelled, the application for re-entry will be reset, so that persons can go back into their application, edit the application and formulate it with the updated information. Once this process is completed, approval to enter the Federation will be granted.
The Taskforce Chair in addition, acknowledged that the entry system is properly working and noted that the Task Force is looking at possible ways to improve the system.
“Based on my experience, I think our system has been working well. In our Task Force meeting yesterday, we discussed some of the challenges; experiencing it myself, we looked at where we can enhance the system, making it more user friendly, as well as, looking at how we can help persons when they are faced with many challenges and one of the areas that we are going to do is, increase the capability of the Help Desk so that they can be contacted more easily and also the communication between the applicants and the persons or agencies that are processing the application.”
In addition, Samuel stated, “if you go on the application form, that’s the knatravelform.kn, you will also see some instructions that would guide you with what to do, if your flight has been changed or cancelled and also, you will be able to contact us if necessary. ”
Meanwhile, Samuel shared some of the disconnections between the St.Kitts-Nevis Task Force, disclosing that they have not been receiving enough cooperation from some of the airlines. Though meetings have been held, they continue to encounter challenges.
“When someone is leaving here for one of the North American destinations, persons cannot enter these destinations without approval. However, what we are seeing is that persons are entering the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis-non nationals at that, without the appropriate approvals or documentation in terms of the test and vaccine cards etc., and then landing here, then having to be processed here. All we are asking for is cooperation and if this trend continues, non-nationals who arrive into the Federation without the appropriate approval will be repatriated to their point of origin.”
Samuel therefore pleaded with Non – nationals to abide by the law and do the right thing, as stated in the St. Christopher and Nevis Statutory Rules and Orders.
He said, approved individuals who are experiencing difficulties because their flight has been cancelled or changed, can contact the Help Desk at 1 869 765 4880 or 1 869 765 4095; or persons can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or access the website for the other emails to contact the IT Health Technicians, notifying them of the cancelled flight.