(Source: CMC) – St. Kitts-Nevis authorities have imposed an EC$500 (One EC dollar=US$0.37 cents) fine on persons who fail to wear a mask in public as efforts continue to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The government has issued the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) (No. 13) Regulations, 2020, which shows that a curfew remains in effect from 5 a.m. and shall expire at 4:59 a.m. (local time) on Saturday, August 29.
“The curfew now in effect – 2 a.m. until 4:59 a.m – has been reduced by two hours; the curfew used to be from midnight until 4:59am,” the statement said, adding “this means that the public will be allowed to move freely, and businesses and enterprises will be allowed to operate, from 5 a.m. of one day to 1:59 a.m. of the following day.
“Social distancing and physical distancing protocols still apply, and establishments are expected to make the necessary arrangements to facilitate them,” the government statement noted.
It said that the wearing masks when in a public place has been expanded and that “notwithstanding the provisions of the Small Charges Act, Cap. 4.36, a person shall wear a face mask, covering their nose and mouth, when in a public place, once a period of emergency is declared in relation to COVID-19”,
It said that a person shall not be required to wear a mask, if he or she is under the age of three years old; or if he or she suffers with a disability, cognitive impairment, dementia, asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease or other similar health condition”.
In addition, the wearing of a mask is not mandatory if a person is within a private space including in a private vehicle.
However, the government warns that under the new regulations, a police officer may issue an EC$500 fixed penalty notice “to any person who contravenes the provisions of Section 15 in relation to wearing a face mask in public places.
“If the person without the mask is between the ages of 3 and 18 years old, the parent or guardian of the minor shall be issued with the fixed penalty notice,” the statement added.
The twin-island federation has recorded 17 positive cases of the virus and no deaths.