BASSETERRE, St. Kitts (Friday 10th September 2021)-Night curfew hurrying road accidents, including a fatal one, has resulted in local authorities asking businesses to close by a certain time as part of the new regulations.
Member of the COVID-19 National Task Force Superintendent Cromwell Henry addressed the topic while speaking at the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) COVID-19 Briefing held on Wednesday 8th September 2021.
This in revealing that an increase in traffic accidents at night suggests that persons are hurrying to get home ahead of curfew.
“The new regulations have been published and will be effective until September 22nd. These new regulations are identical to the previous regulations except for one critical and important provision. Since night curfews started in the Federation, we have seen the increase in traffic accidents at nights. Most of these accidents occur close to the curfew times. Significant injuries and damages were caused in these accidents and in one instance death. This increase in accidents suggests that persons are hurrying to get home ahead of the curfew without any regard for the safety on the road.”
He added: “This, despite the many pleadings for persons to leave whatever they are doing and for businesses to close in sufficient time so that you can get home ahead of the curfew. These new regulations therefore prescribe a specific time for the closure of businesses.
Superintendent Henry noted that regulations 3:6 (b) states all businesses and enterprises shall operate in such a manner so as to ensure that the closing hour shall be by midnight. That is at least one hour before the start of the curfew which is at 1:01 AM.
“Of course given the size and nature of the establishment, you may need to close even more than the hour ahead of the start of the curfew. The objective here is to ensure that your patrons and staff can safely get home before the curfew time, bearing in mind that some of those persons may have to rely on public transportation to get home. Please note that 3:6 (a) states all businesses and enterprises shall operate in such a manner to ensure the operating and closing hours allow sufficient time for all personnel to adhere to the hours set for curfew,” he stated.
The COVID-19 National Task Force member made an appeal for person to be mindful of the regulations.
“Remember the curfew and all measure in these regulations are intended to control and prevent the spread of the virus. We ask therefore that you see them as such and that you do your part to keep us all safe.”
He reminded persons to wear their face mask when in public, avoid crowds and crowded events and practice good hygiene and sanitization behaviour.
In accordance with the Statutory Rules and Orders (No.36 of 2021) of the Emergency Powers (COVID-19 (No.8) Regulations, 2021, new measures came into effect from 5:01AM on Monday 6th September and shall expire at 5:00AM on Wednesday 22nd September.
As outlined in part: A period of curfew is imposed every day from 1:01 AM until 5:00 AM commencing at 1:01AM on Tuesday 7th September 2021 and ending at 5:00AM on Wednesday 22nd September 2021.