BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, June 28, 2021 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has extended the State of Emergency for a period of six months, as part of its continued fight to protect the lives and livelihoods of citizens and residents and contain the spread of the deadly COVID-19 disease that has now resulted in the deaths of three individuals in the Federation.
The extension of the State of Emergency takes effect from July 07, 2021. This date coincides with the end of the current State of Emergency which was declared by His Excellency the Governor-General Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton from Tuesday 15th June, 2021, until 11:59 pm on Tuesday 6th July, 2021.
In moving the Resolution to extend the State of Emergency during today’s (Monday, June 28) Emergency Sitting of the National Assembly, Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris described the State of Emergency as a critical tool in the Government’s fight against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last March, we have utilized this tool to help us control the virus. Emergency Powers were utilized in the first instance in March 2020, for a period of 21 days which is the limit placed on the time span for which the Governor General can promulgate a State of Emergency without the approval of the Parliament,” Prime Minister Harris said.
“Given the continuing community spread there is a need for the State of Emergency to be extended beyond July 06 as the COVID-19 pandemic still presents an existential threat to the lives and livelihoods in St Kitts and Nevis. Indeed, on Saturday last our Chief Medical Officer advised that a new variant which is more transmissible is present in our Federation. We have come today, ahead of the expiry date of the current State of Emergency to seek an extension for a period of 6 months,” Prime Minister Harris continued.
The prime minister stated that the State of Emergency provides a sound legal anchor for the promulgation of curfews in St. Kitts and Nevis that prohibit the movement of persons that can help halt the spread of the disease.
Dr. Harris said, “If persons stay in shelter the probability of a COVID-19 spread is significantly and dramatically reduced Mr. Speaker, and this is what, in large measure, we are attempting to do now. I therefore want to reiterate my call for all persons in St. Kitts and Nevis to stay at home including their yard space and minimize contact with others outside of their household during the period of the lockdown.”
Prime Minister Harris said while his Government understands that the temporary measures being implemented in the fight against COVID-19 may inconvenience many “these measures are being brought for one reason and one reason only that is to save lives.”