(PRESS RELEASE) – The general public has been given the opportunity to stock up on grocery and medicine essentials over two consecutive days (yesterday and today, Thursday, April 9th, 2020), as the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis prepares to go into a nationwide lockdown from 7:01pm tonight to Thursday, April 16th at 6:00am.
This lockdown measure is aimed at fighting the highly contagious coronavirus (COVID-19). As at 3:00pm yesterday, Wednesday, April 8th, there were eleven (11) confirmed coronavirus cases in St. Kitts and Nevis, with no deaths from COVID-19.
In his important address to the nation on Tuesday night, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris announced that both the State of Emergency and the COVID-19 Regulations made under the Emergency Powers Act would be extended.
“On the advice of Cabinet, I have asked His Excellency, the Governor General to extend the State of Emergency currently in place to Saturday, 18th April and to extend Regulations made under the Emergency Powers Act,” Prime Minister Harris said.
On Tuesday night, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis also explained that, under the lockdown beginning tonight, “No one should be away from their residence unless he or she has a special exemption as an essential worker or has a pass or permission from the Commissioner of Police.”
The Prime Minister went on to say to the nation: “I appeal to you to stay at home. Please stay at Home. Stay at Home! Stay at home so that we can halt the spread of the virus!”
Prime Minister Harris continued: “If you are wandering around, if you go to the beach, if you arrange parties and other gatherings that are prohibited at this time, the Police will disrupt those activities and arrest you. This is not the time to be cavalier or callous. We are in a war against COVID-19 and we must win! The State will do what it has to do to protect all our people! The cooperation of all is required so that together we can prevail.”
Ahead of the lockdown, which begins tonight at 7:01pm, zoning regulations were put into effect yesterday, Wednesday, and continue into today, to control the movement of shoppers and traffic – particularly into the major town centres of Basseterre in St. Kitts and Charlestown in Nevis.
Yesterday, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) with responsibility for Operations, Mr. Adolph Adams thanked the public for its cooperation and support, and appealed to citizens and residents to remain safe during this time.