A State of Emergency or Emergency Powers is a situation in which a government is empowered to be able to put through policies that it would normally not be permitted to do in a democracy, for the safety and protection of its citizens. A government can declare such a state during a natural disaster, civil unrest, armed conflict, medical pandemic or epidemic or other biosecurity risks. States of Emergency can also be used as a rationale or pretext for suspending rights and freedoms guaranteed under a country’s constitution or basic law, sometimes through martial law or revoking habeas corpus.
The State of Emergency in St. Kitts and Nevis comes about in the wake of a new wave of rising COVID-19 infections brought about by community spread that has seen to date 244 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 180 active cases, 64 recovered cases, and zero deaths. The government is engaged in a war against the COVID-19 pandemic that if not contained threatens the lives and livelihoods of its citizens thus the government has to act swiftly to save lives in this time of the global and deadly pandemic.
The State of Emergency (SoE) runs in the first instance from 6 pm Tuesday 15th June, 2021, until 11:59 pm on Tuesday 6th July, 2021.
The Government along with its National COVID-19 Task is asking all citizens and residents to comply with the non-pharmaceutical measures of mask-wearing, social distancing, and proper hand hygiene in order to curb the spread of the SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease. Additionally, all eligible persons for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine are urged to avail themselves of the vaccine at the earliest possible time.