Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 24, 2020 (SKNIS): Reopening the St. Kitts and Nevis borders to passengers is not a question of if but when. Government officials have always maintained that such will eventually happen. However, Prime Minister Dr the Honourable Timothy Harris said that a delicate balance must be considered between people’s livelihoods and people’s lives.
While appearing on Tuesday’s edition of the Leadership Matters Virtual Forum, Dr Harris maintained that the Cabinet’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic would continue to be guided by the recommendation of key professionals.
“Any decisions to open the borders will be based on health advice,” the prime minister stated on the June 23 forum that was aired live on ZIZ Radio and Television. The interactive programme was simulcast on several radio stations and also streamed online.
Dr Harris noted that members of the National COVID-19 Task Force were working on the necessary protocols that would be put in place when it was deemed prudent to allow travellers into the federation.
“The science is still evolving and we all looking at what is happening in countries where the borders have opened,” Prime Minister Harris stated.
Some countries in the Caribbean region and many others further afield are dealing with a spike in coronavirus cases. Dr Harris said that such developments are factoring into the decision-making process not just in St. Kitts and Nevis but at the top levels of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) as well as the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
“Everywhere though, the advice is that it is has to be done in a very thoughtful way,” the prime minister indicated, adding that expert advice suggests that a second wave of COVID-19 cases can be more serious than the first.
Dr Harris assured residents that when the decision is made to reopen the borders to travellers, it will be appropriately communicated and everything will be done to ensure the welfare of the populace.
To date, St. Kitts and Nevis has recorded 15 positive cases of the coronavirus with zero deaths. All patients exhibited mild symptoms and have fully recovered. The last positive result was recorded on April 19, 2020.