Saturday 5 December, 2020

Government of St Kitts-Nevis eyeing October for tentative reopening

Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris.

Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris.

If things continue as they are now St Kitts and Nevis may reopen its borders in October.

Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris made the announcement during a televised address on Monday.

He said this decision was reached after extensive consultation with the relevant stakeholders.

"An expansive training programme is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the Ministries of Health and Civil Aviation. It aims to train 5000 persons in the industry at no cost to participants. I am advised that this type of training carries a cost normally of about $100 per participant," he said.

Given the need to ensure that everyone benefits from the training and can be certified by the Tourism Authority to resume operations, the training is being offered free of cost.

Upon the successful completion of the COVID-19 sensitization sessions, participants will be presented with the St. Kitts and Nevis Travel Approved Seal.

The Prime Minister said: "The seal will identify entities and operators within the tourism industry who have undergone the required training to meet the minimum health and safety COVID-19 protocols. Stakeholders within the tourism sector who do not receive the approved seal will not be permitted to operate in the new environment."

He said several major hotels have expressed their commitment to continuing business operations within the two-island state and airlines are chafing at the bit to return to the destination.

“Marriott is still committed to St. Kitts and Nevis. A new General Manager arrived on the island recently and I gather that she will be the one to guide the operations forward. KOI has advised that it has been in touch with Hilton and will reopen in the last quarter of 2020. Park Hyatt is expected to open fully in October 2020 providing work to its 180 employees. I am pleased however to learn that its Fisherman’s Village Restaurant is already open for business. The Royal St. Kitts Hotel is functioning albeit in a reduced capacity,” he elaborated.

Prime Minister Harris and Labour Minister Wendy Phipps is scheduled to meet with management of the Four Seasons Resort in Nevis on Wednesday.

This follows similar consultations held with the management and staff of hotels in St Kitts last week.

Thre are no active cases of COVID-19 in St Kitts and Nevis.

A total of 17 confirmed cases were recorded in the Federation but all the patients have since recovered.

 

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