CHAIRMAN SAMUEL APPEALS TO BUSINESSES TO COMPLY WITH COVID-19 PROTOCOLS AS ENFORCEMENT STEPS UP NEXT WEEK

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MR. ABDIAS SAMUEL

Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 01, 2020 (SKNIS): Enforcement of public safety protocols designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus in St. Kitts and Nevis will shift to a higher gear next week.

Chairman of the National COVID-19 Task Force, Abdias Samuel, noted that the Compliance Task Force had assessed 551 businesses between the period of April 20 to May 01, 2020, to educate owners/management on, and to evaluate the implementation of the safety protocols that allow them to operate on partial lock-down days.

Mr. Samuel reported that some 45 percent of the businesses visited were non-compliant with areas of the Statutory Rules and Order No. 15 of 2020. Chairman Samuel passionately appealed to businesses to obey the law and to do their part to help flatten the curve.

“Come next week Tuesday morning (May 05, 2020), we will no longer be engaging in education [nor] evaluation. We will be engaging in enforcing the law,” he stated at the May 01, National Emergency Operations Centre COVID-19 Daily Briefing. “… It is in the best interest of public safety. We have made some significant gains, and these gains must not be lost due to ignorance.”

Section 6 and 7 of the SR and O were identified as two areas of the Regulation that are being breached. The sections refer to social distancing and physical distancing protocols. Additionally, some bars are still selling alcohol contrary to the suspension of the liquor license for retailers.

The St. Kitts and Nevis Chamber of Industry and Commerce (SKNCIC) publicly endorsed the protocols for business operations when they were introduced on April 17. SKNCIC President Giselle Matthews at the time urged full compliance.

Mr. Samuel noted that he consulted with President Matthews and other members of her team today, and they agreed that the law must be upheld.

Businesses in breach of the Regulations will not be allowed to operate, and the owners may be taken to court.

The Statutory Rules and Order No. 15 of 2020 can be viewed online at https://www.covid19.gov.kn/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Statutory-Rules-and-Orders-No.-15.pdf

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