Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 22, 2020 (St Kitts Tourism Authority): St. Kitts and Nevis are pleased to report that both islands did not sustain any injuries to persons or loss of life as a result of the passage of Tropical Storm Laura.
As a safety precaution, all Government offices were closed at 1:00pm yesterday, August 21, 2020. As of 11:00 p.m. August 21, 2020, the tropical storm warning for the Federation was discontinued.
Some showers and thunderstorms are possible throughout the morning, but conditions will gradually improve throughout the day. Residents have been notified to continue to exercise caution in areas prone to flash-flooding, landslides, street-flooding or rock falls. Currently, a small craft warning remains in effect due to rough sea conditions.
There were no disruptions to power, water services or phone/cable/internet/wi-fi services.
As of 6:00 a.m. August 22, 2020, the National Emergency Management Operations issued the “All Clear” notice.
St. Kitts’ Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport (SKB), Port Zante, and marinas have been closed to international commercial traffic since the closure of the Federation’s borders on March 25, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was more or less a welcome day with nice cool weather – some wind and rain and most importantly a reason to take it easy, curl up on a couch with someone for some movies.
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.
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Mandatory training exercises for bars, restaurants and other tourist-related businesses began today and will continue through August 27. According to Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Lindsay Grant, participating businesses will be certified as being prepared to provide services that are different in the COVID-19 environment.
“All stakeholders are required to attend training, which started on July 22,” Hon. Grant. “They will not be allowed to open if they do not attend and receive certification.
“Businesses, restaurants, bars and other tourism stakeholders that do not attend NEOC training will not be allowed to open,” said the minister. “After the training exercises participants will be certified. Bars and restaurants that don’t have those certifications will not be allowed to open.”
Minister Grant said that the health and well-being of the patrons is of paramount importance.
Week one of the training for bars and restaurants began July 22 through July 24. Week two, from July 27 to 31 will train taxi and tour bus operators and accommodation purveyors. The training will continue until August 27.
The Ministry of Tourism will introduce a travel approved seal. Its objective is to identify businesses and operators that meet the minimum health standards and safety protocols.
“We need to establish a minimum standard to improve visitor confidence,” said Hon. Grant. “We can use the certification as a marketing tool that can be leveraged in the marketplace as a value-added item improving the destination marketability.”