Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis has identified a number of areas that it intends to improve upon as part of its efforts to further protect its citizens and residents from COVID-19 when the Federation’s borders are eventually opened up.

The Team Unity-led administration has maintained that it will continue to take a carefully managed and informed approach to the opening up of the country to the rest of the world.

“The government’s approach entails being aware of the challenges associated with the deadly virus and working to overcome those challenges “even as we take advantage of the opportunities presented by the unique circumstances of COVID-19,” said Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris on the July 21 edition of the Leadership Matters virtual forum.

“Some opportunities present themselves, including identifying a wider array of entities over and beyond hotels that can provide quarantine services,” said Dr. Harris. “Those include villas and residences to name just two; and expanding the number of persons beyond the police and defence force trained to provide surveillance services at quarantine sites.

“We have, for example in the past, enhanced the safety in the touristic sites like Port Zante, the St. Georges Anglican Church, Black Rocks; and sought to fill the gap by training a cadre of island constables,” said Dr. Harris. “The question can be asked, can a similar training be conducted to increase the number of persons who can competently monitor and respond at quarantine sites?”

The prime minister noted that more opportunities should be created for additional molecular testing facilities to provide quicker turn around on results as the country opens up its borders.

“Our main hospital, the JNF Hospital, now has the equipment to do high quality tests for COVID-19,” he said. “We are working to set up equipment and put staff into training so that we can do more tests in St. Kitts and Nevis.”

Additionally, St. Kitts and Nevis has identified training for all persons involved in the provision of hospitality services – including taxi operators, tour operators, receptionists, waiters, waitresses – as another area that must be improved upon before the Federation can begin to again welcome visitors to its shores.