A scene at the Slam Glam Hair and Fashion Show featuring local hairdressers held in May 2017 at the Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI)

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Sunday 19th April 2020) – Hair salons and barber shops in St.Kitts-Nevis will be allowed to conduct business on the upcoming four (4) partial curfew days guided by the local regulations given concerning the coronavirus outbreak, effective Monday 20th April 2020.

Superintendent Cromwell Henry-speaking at the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) COVID-19 Daily Briefing held on Saturday 18th April- shared such information whilst noting that those group of business owners will be permitted to operate “provide that masks are worn and there is no crowding in your place of business.”

“I was advised that those business would be permitted to continue provided that the barber or hairstylist and the client both wear masks. So mask is very important in this situation where the customer and business operator cannot maintain that 6-feet distance. “The other clients who are waiting, however, they must maintain the 6-feet distance so you cannot have the barber shop or hair salon crowded with persons who are waiting; you have to minimise the number of persons who are in your salon or barbershop at any one particular point in time so that the social distancing and protocols can be observed,” he told.

He made reference to subsection one of the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) (No. 3) Regulations where a business is able to continue its operations by its employees practicing social distancing and physical distancing in accordance with the provisions of the regulations , it may operate.

“This is very broad. So if your business is able to continue operations by having your employees practicing social distancing, physical distancing in accordance with the provisions, you may operate,” he said.

Superintendent Henry said businesses, in general, can only open on the days of limited operation which are on the days when the curfew is relaxed.

Hence, come Monday 20th, Tuesday 21st, Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th April, the permitted timeframe are between the hours of 6:00 AM and 7:00 PM daily. A total lockdown is scheduled for Wednesday 22nd.

“From 7PM nightly, there’ll be a curfew and persons will not be permitted to be out and on the days that are not limited curfew days, there’ll be a 24-hour curfew. The shelter in place provision still applies; only persons who are essential workers , only persons who are required to work under regulations six; that is if you are a security guard, medical personnel or if you have to travel for medical emergencies, only those persons are allowed to be out during the hours of curfew,” the senior police official stated.

Additionally, businesses and offices in general are being encouraged to do work via computer and other distance means.

“New regulations have been published and which provide for gradual opening of business activities which we have all been asking for some time. However, the basic framework is still in place to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. For example, businesses and offices are still encouraged to continue to operate or allow their employees to work remotely from home utilising virtual means. So if your company has the capability of as operating remotely or virtually, you are encouraged to continue doing that; don’t open your doors because you can.”

According to the social distancing and physical distancing protocols section, any establishment that is permitted to operate pursuant to the provisions of these Regulations, shall make the necessary arrangements to facilitate social distancing and physical distancing and shall:

(a) Ensure that all customers and staff maintain physical distancing of at least six feet (6ft.) in or outside of their business, if in a line to enter the business.

(b) Determine the number of persons that may be permitted in the establishment at any one time by permitting one person for every thirty square feet of store space.

(c) Place distance markers at least six feet apart, indicating where each customer must stand on a line at a check out point or other line.

(d) Place distance markers at least six feet apart on the outside of the establishment, indicating where customers must stand while waiting to enter the establishment.