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Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 07, 2020 (SKNIS): As St. Kitts and Nevis prepares to reopen its borders to international commercial flights and travelers from October 31, 2020, the general public is strongly encouraged to continue to adhere to all COVID-19 health and safety protocols that were implemented to keep citizens and residents safe from the spread of the Coronavirus.

 “In preparation for the imminent opening of our borders, we have insisted that our citizens and residents comply with all health protocols especially the wearing of masks in public, frequent hand washing, physical and social distancing and we encourage our citizens and residents to avoid crowds and areas of heavy congestion,” said Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris on October 06 edition of ‘Leadership Matters’, a virtual forum on ZIZ TV.

Prime Minister Harris said that the Federation has come “a long way in its successful management of COVID-19 cases” and as a nation designated by the US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a very low-risk destination, citizens and residents should continue to ensure that all protocols are followed as such practices will redound to the benefit of everyone. 

“These practices have to become second nature to us as we work to protect ourselves, our families, our friends and loved ones.  Given that all our cases of COVID-19 to date are travel-related or imported, strict compliance with the health protocols is the only way to contain the spread of the virus thereby minimizing any strain on our small health system and loss of employment and productivity due to quarantine, isolation or hospitalization,” Dr. Harris added.

Practicing proper hygiene and caring for one’s health have always been emphasized by health officials and other key stakeholders. Citizens and residents have always been encouraged to follow several hygienic precautionary practices such as frequently washing hands, avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth and practising respiratory hygiene such as covering one’s mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when one coughs or sneezes. The used tissue should then be disposed of immediately in a waste bin.  

Very early on the government implemented measures to ensure the safety of citizens and residents. On March 25, 2020, the government closed the borders to all commercial airline flights to continue protecting citizens and residents against COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus). However, flights for medical emergencies and International Air cargo and cargo by seafaring vessels were exempted to maintain connectivity and enable the Federation to import much-needed commodities such as food, fuel, medical supplies and equipment. To this day, the government and key stakeholders continue to play their part to ensure that every citizen and resident is protected against the spread of the virus.

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