Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 02, 2020 (SKNIS): The full reopening of the hotel sector in St. Kitts and Nevis is expected to come within the next few weeks. Prime Minister Dr the Honourable Timothy Harris is urging hotels to be diligent in their preparations so as to limit any spread of COVID-19.
Hoteliers and other stakeholders in the tourism industry are currently participating in training organized by the Ministry of Tourism. The mandatory sessions are designed to sensitize stakeholders on the minimum health and safety COVID-19 protocols.
Additionally, regulation 18 of the COVID-19 Emergency Powers outlines the conditions where a hotel may apply for approval to return to operations during a second phase reopening. Schedule III Part I of regulation 18, gives a comprehensive breakdown of the protocol for the hotel industry.
“All hotel employees should make themselves familiar with the new rules,” Prime Minister Harris stated on the September 01 edition of the Leadership Matters Virtual Forum Series. “I urge hotel operators to begin the preparations for an October opening, making the necessary physical and other adjustments in advance, and to test their systems and their ability to respond appropriately.”
The guidelines are published in the Statutory Rules and Orders No. 39 of 2020. A copy of the SR&O can be accessed online via the resource centre at www.covid19.gov.kn.
In conjunction with borders reopening, the Prime Minister announced that the Federation’s major hotels remain committed partners to the tourism sector. The St. Kitts Marriott Resort and Park Hyatt St. Kitts will reopen in October 2020. The Park Hyatt’s Fisherman’s Village reopened last week Friday, August 7, 2020. Koi, a Curio Collection by Hilton hotel, will reopen in the fourth quarter of 2020. The Royal St. Kitts Hotel is currently operating with reduced capacity. The Four Seasons Resort Nevis will soon announce reopening plans.
In preparation for the borders reopening, the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, the Nevis Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Tourism in conjunction with the Ministries of Health and Civil Aviation are conducting training for over 5,000 tourism industry stakeholders including hotels at no cost to them. The training aims to educate stakeholders in the health and safety protocols and standards that must be met in order to obtain the “Travel Approved” certification and seal from the respective Tourism Authority that will be required for them to operate.
The phased reopening is being implemented with the advisement of the Chief Medical Officer, the Medical Chief of Staff and medical experts. At their advice, the Federation has successfully flattened the curve. St. Kitts & Nevis has the fewest number of confirmed cases in all the CARICOM independent states at a total of 17 with 0 active cases at this time and 0 deaths to date. This is a direct result of the Federation’s “all society approach” and adherence to established protocols including social distancing, hand washing and mask-wearing that remain in place.