By: Erasmus Williams
Basseterre, St Kitts, March 26, 2020 – The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to affect the livelihood of employees in the travel and hospitality industry in St Kitts and Nevis.
According to multiple sources, some 13 employees of TDC Airlines have been laid off temporarily.
Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris announced that a border shutdown took effect on March 25 at 11:59 PM and closes the Robert L Bradshaw International Airport on St Kitts and the Vance Amory International Airport on Nevis to all commercial airline flights until April 7.
The move only permits international air cargo and cargo by seafaring vessels to “maintain connectivity that enables the Federation to import needed commodities such as food, fuel, medical supplies and equipment,” according to Harris.
British Airways, Air Canada, American Airlines and United Airlines and other air services have suspended flights.
Hundreds of workers are unemployed following the closure of several hotels and businesses as the fallout from the coronavirus, COVID-19 continues to rock the hospitality industry.
Nisbet Plantation Beach Club Hotel, Montpelier Plantation & Beach Hotel in Nevis have closed. Nevis’ Four Seasons Resort has cut back on the hours of work to one day for line employees.
On St Kitts, the St Kitts Marriott Resort and Royal Beach Casino, Park Hyatt St Kitts Christophe Harbour and Koi Resort have also taken temporary measures as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The cruising giants – Royal Caribbean, Carnival, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises and others have also halted their itineraries to ports worldwide.
COVID-19 has also affected the lives of taxi and tour operators, hair braiders, souvenir vendors, restauranteurs, storekeepers, schools and other commercial and financial institutions and small businesses.