(PRESS RELEASE) — The recently opened 102-room Koi Resort St Kitts, Curio Collection by Hilton, is to close temporarily as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to reports, the resort has stopped accepting reservations and staff will be sent home for the next two weeks due to a downturn of business. It was not immediately known how many workers will be affected.
Other resorts on both St Kitts and Nevis have also experienced cancellations, resulting in low occupancy as a result of the worldwide pandemic.
Restrictions have been imposed on travel. Major cruise ships have suspended their itineraries globally, affecting travel and tourism and other related services.
Dr Terrance Drew, the NextGen SKN candidate for St Christopher 8 of the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) last week expressed concern that Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris had failed to inform the nation of the negative impact that COVID-19 will have on the St Kitts and Nevis economy.
In a video address to the nation on Tuesday afternoon, Political Leader of the SKNLP, The Right Hon Dr Denzil L Douglas, called for stringent price control on food items to prevent price-gouging, the establishment of an unemployment stipend to those who are financially challenged, a stimulus package for businesses, suspension of payments on mortgages and student and other loans, a moratorium on penalties and late fees, a recall of retired nurses and special attention to the elderly and vulnerable groups.
“What is needed today is a unified approach setting aside all political and ideological differences and coalescing around a common and agreed strategy,” said Dr Douglas said.
Dr Douglas said the global pandemic has already affected the tourism industry and services sectors.
“It will continue to affect our businesses, especially our small businesses; our state institutions, our schools, our government offices, and more importantly, it can overwhelm our health institutions and our health system,” said Dr Douglas, who called for mechanisms to address this pandemic effectively and minimize its adverse effects.