BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - PASSENGERS travelling to St. Kitts and Nevis will no longer be require to seek permission or have a negative COVID test to enter the Federation, as changes instructed by Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew take effect.
A number of passengers reportedly complained that they were forced to cancel their trips since the announcement was made on Saturday (Aug. 13), as several airlines were still enforcing the policy.
But the St. Kitts Tourism Authority confirmed that the change was with immediate effect, meaning today (Aug. 15), and that passengers would not have to fulfill the previous requirements for entry and await permission, which are to the disapproval of citizens and residents.
“The removal of entry testing and vaccination requirements comes at a time when traveller confidence is on the rise. The combination of increasing demand and a more seamless travel process will make St. Kitts even more desirable to visitors abroad. We are pleased to communicate the removal of restrictions which would improve the destination’s travel experience,” said Ellison ‘Tommy’ Thompson, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority.
Dr. Drew made the announcement on Saturday during his first official address as Prime Minister while at the Inauguration Ceremony for the Federal Cabinet. He was one of a number of critics who called for the permanent removal of the approval requirements for entry into the Federation.
"For many months, well before the election campaign began, I challenged the former government continuously to end the travel restrictions placed on our people that no longer had any scientific or medical merit. It was clear these restrictions were being used to oppress and suppress the will of you, the people. Why should citizens of this country have to seek permission to enter the land of their birth? That was wrong! That is wrong!” Drew said.
“Therefore, I have instructed that forthwith, all COVID-19-related health and travel restrictions be REMOVED!,” the Prime Minister declared.
The instruction comes to the pleasure of many, as the tourism sector, the Federation’s key economic pillar, seeks to rebound from the ravages of the pandemic.
Former Government Minister, Dwyer Astaphan believed the policy had its benefit but it was outlived and affected the country entirely, as it had since driven away a number of investors and travellers.