St Kitts and Nevis restricts 37th Independence Day Celebrations due to COVID-19
The Federation of St Kitts and Nevis will modify its Independence Day programming in regard to the ongoing threat posed by COVID-19. The twin-island achieved independence from Britain on September 19th, 1983. This year, the nation will celebrate its 37th year of sovereignty. Prime Minister Dr the Honorable Timothy Harris took the difficult decision and disclosed the cancellation of some events, while others will be scaled back or virtually delivered.
Prime Minister Harris, speaking on his weekly television program on Tuesday night, said the annual Independence Day Ceremonial Parade would be cancelled this year. Due to the country’s pro-active containment measures and a robust healthcare system, St Kitts and Nevis has the lowest confirmed cases among CARICOM states, and there are currently no active cases. Zero deaths have also been recorded deaths due to the virus.
“There will be no Independence Parade this year. This is to reduce the risk of the spread of the virus with thousands of participants attending the Independence Parade. This decision was a painful one given the seminal importance of independence at the fulcrum of our sovereign state,” Prime Minister Harris said. However, he encouraged citizens “to wear national colours, carry their national flags with them and display their flags on their homes and public buildings […] to mark the day, [and be] mindful to comply with our COVID-19 Regulations.”
The islands will reopen their borders for international tourism in the next month. The reopening will allow for the continuation of air and commercial sea traffic carrying international passengers into the Federation’s ports. The nation is training over 5,000 tourism industry workers in health and safety protocols in preparation for October.