STEP Field Coordinator, Mr. William Phillip, using the hand sanitizer installed at the STEP office in Basseterre.

Director of the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP), Mr. Emile Greene appealed Tuesday for all staff and participants in the programme to comply with the regulations of State of Emergency aimed at stemming any spread of the coronavirus.

“We are asking all persons who are involved with the Skills Training Empowerment Programme to abide by the new measures,” observed Mr. Greene. “The expectation is that all persons associated with the STEP, whether office staff or in the field that they will stay at home, unless of course they are working for the essential services whether police, fire services, or customs.”

STEP participants assigned to various offices and businesses must comply with the guidelines of State of Emergency, according to the Director. All participants who work in businesses that are non-essential and are not supposed to be open have strongly been advised not turn out to work and should stay home. This also applies to members of the STEP community enhancement groups.

“Given the new restrictions this week, what we did is we only have essential staff out to work,” noted Mr .Greene. “We decided how many persons we want for example to process the payroll and to answer queries and to do other essential services around the office, and only those persons we have asked to come out to work.”

In preparation for the 24-hour curfew that came into effect on Tuesday 7 p.m., STEP reduced the frontline staff, and field officers and persons on the field were asked not to come to the office. By midday, payroll for all the STEP persons had been processed to ensure they would be paid by Friday, April 3.

Earlier, STEP had taken measures at the office to help stop the spread of the coronavirus by installing a hand sanitizer at the entrance of the lobby, and all persons coming to the office had to sanitise their hands before being allowed in. All staff members have access to sanitizers, wipes and gloves as they handle paperwork like time sheets and other items from the general public.

A District Medical Officer, Dr. Bernicia Nisbett, was invited and she held a sensitisation session on coronavirus with the STEP office and field staff March 26.

“We want that STEP persons are informed. We want them to abide by the restrictions of the State of Emergency and we want everybody to stay free and safe from the coronavirus,” said Mr. Greene. “We want them to practise social distancing, we want them to be careful. We want them to continue practising good hygiene and hopefully at the end the day, when the country has defeated the coronavirus, I am hoping that no person who is on the Skills Training Empowerment Programme would have been affected.”