October targeted for reopening of the Federation’s borders

Passengers depart from aircraft at the RLB International Airport in St. Kitts before the pandemic.
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BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — After careful consideration for the health and safety of citizens and residents as well as its commitment to restoring the Federation’s economy to pre COVID-19 levels, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is hopeful that, should things proceed as expected, it will be in a position to reopen the country’s borders in October.

Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris at his August 11 Press Conference.

This decision was reached after extensive dialogue with relevant stakeholders, including the National Emergency Operations Center, health experts and the business community represented by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

“An expansive training programme is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with the Ministries of Health and Civil Aviation,” said Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris. “It aims to train 5,000 persons in the industry at no cost to participants.

“I am advised that this type of training carries a cost normally of about $100.00 per participant. Given the need to ensure all will benefit and can be certified by the Tourism Authority 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 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.

The prime minister said the good news is major hotels are committed to continue doing business in the destination and airlines are showing high interest to bring passengers to our shores.

“Marriott is still committed to St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Dr. Harris. “A new General Manager has arrived on island recently. 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,” said the Prime Minister. “The Royal St. Kitts Hotel is functioning albeit in a reduced capacity.”

The honourable prime minister, along with Minister of Labour the Honourable Wendy Phipps, are scheduled to meet tomorrow with Four Seasons Resort management on Nevis. Similar meetings were held with management and staff of hotels on St. Kitts in recent weeks.

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