BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, May 22, 2020 (PLP PR Media Inc.) — The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis continues to record success in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, and Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris has informed that this achievement has resulted in further gradual opening of economic and social activity with weekends now being days of limited operations, and churches opening their doors to worshippers.
Prime Minister Harris made the disclosure on Friday May 22 when in a national address by radio he announced further Regulations for the next three weeks from Saturday May 23 to Saturday June 13 which will be published under Statutory Rules and Orders (SR&O) Number 19 of 2020 Emergency Powers (Covid-19) Regulations.
“The new Regulations to take effect tomorrow will continue the process of gradually opening up our Federation to more economic and social activity,” advised the Honourable Prime Minister. “This weekend, on Saturday the 23rd and Sunday the 24th May, we have put in place an extension of the days of limited operations to the seven-day week. It will be the end of the 24-hour curfew (a total lockdown).”
In his address to the nation, Prime Minister Harris started by expressing how pleased he was to have heard the announcement by the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Hazel Laws, earlier in the week that the last of the fifteen individuals who had been confirmed as having contracted Covid-19 would have fully recovered.
“My Government has received tremendous praise over the manner in which we have handled this disease up to this time,” noted Dr Harris. “I, in turn, must commend our citizens and residents for their recognition of the seriousness of the times and their compliance with the Regulations.”
According to the Prime Minister, while Saturday, the day of limited operations will begin at 6:01 am and end at 7:00 pm, from Sunday the day will begin at 5:01am and end at 7:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays. However, from Monday to Friday, hours of limited operation will remain at 5:00am to 8:00pm daily.
“We are now operating near normal every day, save for the nightly curfews,” he pointed out. “I must remind you that the nightly curfew remains in place and it must be adhered to. It will start at 8:00pm and end at 5:00am the next day Monday to Friday, and it will begin at 7:00pm and end at 5:00am on Saturday and Sunday.”
The Honourable Prime Minister advised that over the past two weeks members of the National Covid-19 had been meeting with the Christian Council, the Evangelical Association and faith leaders across St. Kitts and Nevis. He added that they had successful discussions on the manner in which religious freedom, public health and infection prevention can work together, and the Cabinet received a report on the consultations on Thursday May 21.
“I am so happy about this, as Churches are crucial to our lives,” said Prime Minister Harris who is a committed church attender. “We believe in God. COVID-19 required restrictions be put in place to protect the Church membership and the wider society. I thank the Churches for their outstanding cooperation to date.”
He added: “I am therefore happy to announce that our Churches will open their doors to their congregations for worship on Saturday and Sunday this weekend between the hours of 7:00 am and 5:00 pm.”
For the churches to operate, he further advised, there will be conditions as the government continues to seek to protect the population. He noted he had been advised that the conditions and protocols surrounding the resumption of corporate worship have already been conveyed to the Church leadership,