Statutory Rules and Orders No. 42 of 2020

Emergency Powers (COVID-19) (N0. 15) Regulations

In exercise of the power conferred by section 5 of the Emergency Powers Act, Cap. 19.02, the Governor General, makes the following Regulations:
[Published 25th September 2020, Extra Ordinary Gazette No. 74 of 2020]

  1. Citation and duration.
    (1) These Regulations may be cited as the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) (No. 15) Regulations, 2020.
    (2) These Regulations shall come into operation from 12:01 a.m. on Sunday 27th September, 2020, and shall expire at midnight on Sunday 18th October, 2020.
  1. Interpretation.
    In these Regulations “public place” includes an indoor or outdoor area, whether privately or publicly owned, to which the public has access by right or by invitation, expressed or implied, whether by payment of money or not, including
    (a) shopping centres, supermarkets, pharmacies, banks and utility
    departments;
    (b) bars, drinking places and restaurants;
    (b) hotels;
    (c) schools and all other educational institutions;
    (d) hospitals, whether publicly or privately operated;
    (e) churches or other religious establishments;
    (f) public transportation;
    (g) community centres;
    (k) Government offices;
    (l) public markets; and
    (m) other places or buildings of all types, accessible to the public;
    “second phase of reopening” means the reopening of businesses and enterprises in accordance with the provisions of these Regulations.
  1. Work remotely from home.
    (1) In an effort to prevent the spread of the Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19, all businesses and offices may continue their business operations by allowing their employees to work remotely from home utilizing virtual means.
    (2) Senior persons, older persons or persons in the pre-retirement age range and persons with chronic underlying conditions should be given priority to work remotely from home.
    (3) Subject to sub-regulation (1), where a business is able to continue its operations by its employees practicing social distancing and physical distancing in accordance with the provisions of regulation 5, it may operate.
  1. Public Service, Statutory Bodies, State-owned Enterprises and Courts.
    (1) All persons employed within the public service, a statutory body or a State-owned enterprise shall work remotely from home, except as may otherwise be directed by the Secretary to the Cabinet.
    (2) Subject to the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Practice Direction, No. 5 of 2020 COVID-19 Emergency Measures (3rd Re-issue), the Courts shall remain accessible, shall adhere to physical distancing protocols and the persons employed therein shall work remotely from home as far as reasonably practicable.
    (3) In this regulation, “Court” includes the Magistrates Courts and the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.
  1. Social distancing and physical distancing protocols.
    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 total 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.

6. Restriction on social activities.
No person shall host, attend or visit
(a) a private party;
(b) a wedding, subject to regulations 5 and 10;
(c) a banquet, ball or reception;
(d) any other ceremony in any facility or public place;
(e) a funeral, subject to regulations 5 and 10;
(f) a meeting of a fraternal society, private or social club or civic association or organization;
(g) any public beach, subject to regulations 5 and 11; or
(h) any other type of social event, except with the written permission of the Commissioner of Police.

  1. Hygiene protocols.
    The hygiene protocols that must be followed by businesses and enterprises are set out under Schedule I.
  1. Wearing masks outdoors.
    (1) 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.
    (2) A person shall not be required to wear a mask:
    (a) if he or she is under the age of six years old;
    (b) if he or she is between the ages of six and 11 years old and if there is lack of adult supervision for putting on and taking off the face mask.
    (c) if he or she suffer with a disability, cognitive impairment, dementia, asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease or other similar health condition;
    (d) if he or she is within a private space including in a private vehicle.
  1. Education and religious instruction.
    (1) Subject to sub-regulation (3), all public educational places of instruction may reopen.
    (2) Subject to sub-regulation (3), all private educational places of instruction shall apply to the Ministry of Education for approval of reopening in the form set out in Schedule II.
    (3) All public and private educational places of instruction shall comply with the minimum standards set out in Schedule II.
    (4) Notwithstanding sub-regulations (1), (2), and (3), all public and private educational places of instruction may require students and teachers to connect virtually or work remotely from home.
    (5) All religious places of instruction or worship may reopen in accordance with the provisions of these Regulations and any other conditions or directives given by the National COVID-19 Taskforce and the following persons should be encouraged to connect to virtual
    church services from home or may attend a separate early morning service designated for that purpose
    (a) senior persons, persons in the pre-retirement age range or persons over 65 years old;
    (b) persons with underlying health conditions;
    (c) individuals with disabilities; and (d) those who might not be able to wear a mask for the duration of the service.
  1. Weddings and funerals.
    (1) Notwithstanding regulation 6, a person may attend a funeral except
    (a) the funeral shall have a maximum duration not exceeding one hour;
    (b) the seating arrangements shall allow for a minimum of six feet between persons and distance markers must indicate where each person may sit;
    (c) the total number of persons that may be permitted to attend inside of the building is one person for every thirty square feet; and
    (d) all persons shall adhere to social distancing and physical distancing protocols pursuant to regulation 5.
    (2) Notwithstanding regulation 6, a person may attend a wedding except
    (a) the wedding shall have a maximum duration not exceeding one hour;
    (b) the seating arrangements shall allow for a minimum of six feet between persons and distance markers must indicate where each person may sit;
    (c) the total number of persons that may be permitted to attend inside of the building is one person for every thirty square feet; and
    (d) all persons, except the bride and groom, shall adhere to social distancing and physical distancing protocols pursuant to regulation 5.
  1. Public beaches.
    A person may visit a public beach
    (a) for the purposes of swimming or exercise;
    (b) where no more than eight members of the immediate family should be in close proximity to each other;
    (c) where there shall be no picnics, beach parties or other gatherings; and (d) where all persons shall adhere to social distancing and physical distancing protocols pursuant to regulation 7.
  1. Bars and restaurants.
    (1) Restaurants and take away food vendors may be opened and may
    (a) operate for the purposes of food delivery or food take away services;
    (b) offer in-dining and (i) all persons shall adhere to social distancing and physical distancing protocols pursuant to regulation 5;
    (ii) all persons shall adhere to the hygiene protocols pursuant to regulation 7 and Schedule I;
    (iii) no more than eight members of the same household should be in close proximity to each other; (iv) no more than two persons, who are not from the same household, shall be grouped together or share a table;(v) spacing between tables shall allow for a minimum of six feet between persons; (vi) all persons including restaurant staff shall wear a face mask, covering their nose and mouth in accordance with regulation 8, except when eating or drinking

(2) A bar may be opened for the sale of liquor in accordance with the provisions of the Liquor Licences Act, Cap. 18.21 and
(a) all persons shall adhere to social distancing and physical distancing protocols pursuant to regulation 5;
(b) all persons shall adhere to the hygiene protocols pursuant to regulation 7 and Schedule I;
(c) no more than eight members of the same household should be in close proximity to each other;
(d) no more than two persons, who are not from the same household, shall be grouped together or share a table;
(e) spacing between tables, at the bar or other seating arrangement shall allow for a minimum of six feet between persons;
(f) all persons shall wear a face mask, covering their nose and mouth in accordance with regulation 8, except when eating or drinking.

  1. Sports and training.
    (1) A person may attend sports training or practice sessions for amateur or other recreational sporting events and
    (a) all persons shall adhere to the social distancing and physical distancing protocol, as far as is reasonably practicable;
    (b) all persons shall wear a face mask, covering their nose and mouth in accordance with regulation 8, except during the training or practice exercise;
    (c) all persons shall adhere to the hygiene protocols pursuant to regulation 7 and schedule I;
    (d) all training or practice sessions shall be in accordance with any other conditions or directives given by the National COVID-19 Taskforce and the Ministry of Sports.
    (2) Management teams or clubs within each sport discipline may apply, to the Ministry of Sports in the form set out in Part II of Schedule III, for permission to host inter-team or inter-club competitive matches with a maximum of fifty percent spectator capacity and
    (a) the seating arrangements shall allow for a minimum of six feet between persons and distance markers must indicate where each person may sit;
    (b) the total number of persons that may be permitted to attend inside of the building or stadium is one person for every thirty square feet; and (c) all persons shall adhere to social distancing and physical distancing protocols pursuant to regulation 5.
  1. Restriction on visitation.
    No person shall visit or be permitted to visit
    (a) any place of quarantine or isolation station;
    (b) a patient in a hospital or residential care establishment or facility, including an elderly nursing home.
  1. Domestic travel.
    No person shall offer for hire or seek to travel on any motor omnibus, any hiring car, taxi, any passenger ferry or catamaran unless,
    (a) all persons wear a mask at all times, pursuant to regulation 15;
    (b) windows remain open or partially open depending on the weather conditions;
    (c) all persons shall practice good hand hygiene, proper sanitary behaviour and social distancing protocols, in accordance with regulation 5, 7 and Schedule I.
  1. Restriction on international travel.
    (1) For the purposes of preventing, controlling and suppressing the spread of the novel coronavirus or COVID-19, with immediate effect
    (a) all airports including private airports and fixed-base operations shall be closed to incoming international flights, except with the prior written permission of the Air Ports Authorities, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer;
    (b) all sea ports shall be closed to regional and international seafaring and private boating, except with the prior written permission of the Ports Authorities, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer; and
    (c) a visitor shall not be permitted to enter and disembark for any reason, including transiting through Saint Christopher and Nevis.
    (2) The restriction contained in sub-regulation (1) does not apply to
    (a) outgoing flights or outgoing ships, as the case may be;
    (b) cargo flights or cargo ships, as the case may be;
    (c) commercial courier flights;
    (d) emergency medical flights;
    (e) emergency flights approved by the Air Ports Authorities;
    (f) flights carrying any diplomat.
    (3) Notwithstanding sub-regulation (2), no crew member will be allowed or granted shore leave, unless for the purposes of operational difficulties and upon receiving permission from the Airports Authorities or the Ports Authorities, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer.
  1. Power of National COVID-19 Taskforce and compliance team
    (1) The National COVID-19 Taskforce may
    (a) inspect or visit any business or enterprise to ensure compliance with the provisions of these Regulations;
    (b) be consulted to assist businesses and enterprises to comply with the provisions of these Regulations, and a person who obstructs any member of the National COVID-19 Taskforce commits an offence and is liable on summary to a fine under regulation 21.
    (2) The compliance team may visit or inspect any businesses, enterprises or any social event to ensure compliance with the provisions of these regulations and a person who obstructs any member of the compliance commits an offence and is liable on summary to a fine under regulation 21.
  1. Second phase of reopening
    (1) A hotel may apply for approval to reopen during a second phase reopening period
    (2) A hotel that applies to the Ministry of Tourism to reopen during a period of second phase of reopening, shall comply with the minimum standards set out in Schedule III Part I.
  1. Requirement on private medical laboratories
    (1) Notwithstanding the fact that the Caribbean Public Health Agency has not yet approved any private medical laboratory to do testing for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19, where a private medical laboratory does such testing on a person and the result of such testing is a positive result, the private medical laboratory and the person so tested
    shall immediately report and forward the results to the Chief Medical Officer.
    (2) Where a private medical laboratory or a person fails to report and forward results to the Chief Medical Officer in accordance with sub-regulation (1), the owner or operator of the private medical laboratory or the person, as the case may be, commits an offence and is liable
    on summary conviction to a fine under regulation 21.
  1. Treatment of persons for COVID-19 and Quarantine
    (1) Where a person meets the case definition of a suspected case of COVID-19 as outlined in Schedule IV, the appropriate sample may be taken to facilitate testing for COVID-19 and it may be processed at a local laboratory or the Caribbean Public Health Agency laboratory.
    (2) Where the result of a test conducted by the Caribbean Public Health Agency or by a private medical laboratory under regulation 19 shows that a person is suffering from COVID-19, the Chief Medical Officer may give such directions, as she thinks fit, for (a) the restraint, segregation and isolation of that person or any other person who, by exposure to infection from that person, is likely to suffer from COVID-19;
    (b) the removal of a person referred to in paragraph (a) to a public hospital or a designated facility; or
    (c) the curative treatment of a person referred to in paragraph (a).

(3) The Chief Medical Officer may give a direction under sub-regulation (1) where, in her discretion, she considers it necessary to do so
(a) for the purposes of preventing or controlling the spread of COVID-19;
(b) in the interests of the person in relation to whom the direction is given; or (c) in the interests of public health.
(4) Where the Chief Medical Officer gives a direction under sub-regulation (1), the person in relation to whom the direction is given shall be informed
(a) of the reason for giving the direction;
(b) of the period during which the person is likely to be required to remain at a public hospital or a designated facility for observation, surveillance or curative treatment; and
(c) that it is an offence to fail to comply with the direction or to obstruct a medical practitioner, a nurse, a member of staff at a public hospital or a designated facility or a member of staff of a public or private ambulance service from carrying out the direction.
(5) A person who
(a) fails to comply with a direction under sub-regulation (1); or
(b) obstructs a medical practitioner, a nurse, a member of staff at a public hospital or a designated facility or a member of staff of a public or private ambulance service from carrying out a direction under sub-regulation (1), commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine under regulation 21.

  1. Penalty
    (1) A person who contravenes or fails to comply with these Regulations shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 6 months or to both and to forfeiture of any goods or money in respect of which the offence has been committed.
    (2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), a police officer may issue a fixed penalty notice to any person who contravenes the provisions of section 15 in relation to wearing a face mask in public places, in the form specified in Schedule V.
    (3) A fixed penalty notice issued by a police officer in accordance with these Regulations shall be lawful notice that the person is charged with the commission of an offence and that a complaint will be made against that person in respect thereof requiring him or her to either pay the fixed penalty of five hundred within ten business days or to appear at the court specified in the notice on the day and at the hour stated therein to answer the said complaint.
    (4) Where the person not wearing the mask is under the age of 18 and over the age of 11 the parent or guardian of that person may be charged with an offence and (a) the person would be required to provide contact information for the parent or guardian, if they are not present; and
    (b) the person may be taken to the nearest police station and be held there until released to a parent or guardian.

(5) The police officer shall send to the Magistrate for the magisterial district in which the offence is alleged to have been committed, a duplicate of the notice, which duplicate shall be deemed to be a complaint laid before the Magistrate and a summons issued by the Magistrate for the purposes of the Magistrate’s Code of Procedure Act.
(6) A notice issued under these Regulations shall be signed by the police officer and shall specify
(a) the date, time and place of the giving of the notice;
(b) the provision of the Regulations creating the offence alleged and such
particulars of the offence as are required for proceedings under the Magistrate’s Code of Procedure Act, Cap. 3.17;
(c) the time within which the fixed penalty may be paid in accordance with the provisions of these Regulations;
(d) the amount of the fixed penalty;
(e) the Clerk of the Magistrate to whom, and the address at or to which the fixed penalty may be paid;
(f) the address of the Magistrate’s Court at which the person is required to appear in the event of his or her failure to pay the fixed penalty within the specified time, and the date and time of such appearance.
(7) Where a notice has been given under these Regulations, the person may pay the fixed penalty in accordance with the notice.
(8) The time within which the fixed penalty shall be payable shall be ten business days from the date of the notice, and where payment reaches the Clerk of the Magistrate after that time, it shall not be receivable and shall be returned to the sender.
(9) Where the fixed penalty is duly paid in accordance with the notice, the proceedings instituted by the notice shall be discontinued.
(10) Payment of the fixed penalty shall be made to the Clerk of the Magistrate’s Court District “A” Basseterre or the Clerk of the Magistrate’s Court, District “C”, Charlestown and shall be dealt with in the same manner as payment of a fine imposed for an offence under the Magistrate’s Code of Procedure Act.
(11) The fixed penalty notice shall be presented for payment of the fixed penalty.
(12) In any proceedings, a certificate that payment of the fixed penalty was or was not made to the Clerk of the Magistrate by a date specified in the certificate shall, if the certificate is signed by the Clerk, be sufficient evidence of the facts stated, unless the contrary is proved.
(13) Where the fixed penalty is not paid within the time specified in the notice, proceedings in respect of that offence shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Magistrate’s Code of Procedure Act.

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