(PRESS RELEASE) – To date, St. Kitts & Nevis still has no confirmed cases of COVID-19. However, in response to the rapid international spread of the disease and the fact the (a) the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared that the virus has now become a pandemic and (b) several CARICOM member states have now reported cases – all of which have been imported into the region, The Federal Government of St. Kitts and Nevis announces the following:
· At St. Kitts’ Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport, all incoming air passengers to the Federation will continue mandatory completion of question #17 of the Customs/Immigration Form, which requires a listing of “countries visited during last six weeks.”
o Travel advisories remain in effect for any and all incoming passengers who have travelled to or from any of the following countries within the last six (6) weeks prior to arrival in the Federation. Those travellers will continue to be asked to provide travel history, history of exposure to the virus and contact information: China, Italy, Iran, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Japan
o Travel advisories have now been issued for The United Kingdom (UK), France, Germany and Spain.
o Passengers traveling to/from these destinations within the last 14 days are asked not to travel to St. Kitts & Nevis at this time. Persons who do travel to St. Kitts & Nevis from these destinations will be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine period following screening at the port of entry. Such quarantine of passengers means that their movements will be confined to a designated facility.
o The Federal Government advises all citizens and legal residents returning from any of the aforementioned countries that they too will be placed on a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine regimen, wherein their movements will be restricted.
o The Federal Government reserves the right to screen any individual arriving into the Federation, particularly during this WHO declared pandemic. This advisory remains in effect for citizens, residents and travelers until further notice and as previously stated, the Federal Government reserves the right to amend its travel advisories to include other countries.
· At the cruise port, inspectors from the Environmental Health Department continue to board each vessel that docks to review the passenger travel manifest and all medical reports for any passengers exhibiting flu-like symptoms. Any passenger displaying such symptoms is not permitted to disembark.
St. Kitts & Nevis is complying with International Health Regulations and reporting to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) / the World Health Organization (WHO) as appropriate. Following the WHO’s declaration on March 11, 2020 that the global spread of COVID-19 constitutes a Pandemic, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis advises citizens and residents to restrict travel to the aforementioned destinations until the WHO gives the all clear in relation to COVID-19.
The Ministry of Health is working closely with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and all appropriate government agencies to execute national disaster preparedness and response plans so as to prevent, monitor and manage the spread of the virus if and when a national or visitor tests positive for the virus. The Disaster Mitigation Council is in place to handle the response to the disease and the Ministry of Health has conducted training exercises with frontline workers including police and immigrations and customs officers.
A destination-wide awareness and education campaign is being implemented within schools, the workplace and communities to remind the public of everyday preventative actions including basic hygiene best practices to help stem the spread of the virus. These include frequent handwashing with soap and water or 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizers, frequent disinfection of surfaces and avoiding close contact with people who exhibit signs of respiratory illness. The Federal Ministry of Health and the Government of St. Kitts & Nevis advises citizens to remain clam, follow all of the advisories that have been issued, and rely only on official sources of information on COVID-19 rather than subjecting themselves to fear and propaganda.
For more information on COVID-19, please visit www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html and/or http://carpha.org/What-We-Do/Public-Health/Novel-Coronavirus.
For more information about St. Kitts, visit www.stkittstourism.kn.