Minister Powell Confident Upgrades At Airport Will Help Keep Citizens And Residents Safe

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, October 26, 2020 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Minister of Government, the Honourable Jonel Powell said he is confident that the plans and upgraded infrastructure being put in place at the RLB International Airport will all help to keep citizens and residents of St. Kitts and Nevis safe when the Federation’s borders reopen later this week.

Minister Powell, along with all of his fellow Cabinet colleagues, was present for a walkthrough at the airport on Monday, October 26. The walkthrough was organized to give the ministers a firsthand look of the retrofitting work being done and an understanding of the added security protocols that will be implemented.

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The work is being done through the RLB International Airport COVID-19 Retrofit Project, which is being undertaken by Baley Project Management.

Speaking after the tour of the facility, Minister Powell said he is very impressed with the quality and quantity of work done at the airport in such a short time.

“Obviously, these are necessary measures as we reopen our borders in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and so [it is good] to see that we are not just talking the talk but walking the walk in terms of putting protocols and processes in place to not only keep our visitors safe but to keep us as locals and residents safe. The plans have been very extensive. I don’t think anything has been left out. I was actually surprised at just some of the steps that have been put in place to ensure that we have a safe and smooth process,” Minister Powell stated.

The Federation’s borders will reopen on Saturday, October 31, and according to Minister Powell, this is a significant development for St. Kitts and Nevis “not just in our attempt to try and jumpstart our economy but also in order to get a lot of residents who are outside back home and so this is very important for us and I’m happy we’re able to finally reach this step and to do it in a very safe and orderly manner that will ensure that St. Kitts and Nevis keeps going for years to come.”

The work is being rolled out in two phases. Phase one involves the construction of a welcome center and a medical center with an isolation unit, the reconfiguration of the immigration hall, the creation of a medical screening room, screening stations, a testing booth and thermal scanning facilities, and the installation of plexiglass as sneeze guards throughout the airport.

Phase two of the RLB International Airport COVID-19 Retrofit Project is focused on retrofitting the departure area.

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