The St. Kitts-Nevis government says it will curtail activities marking the 37th anniversary of political independence from Britain.
The twin-island Federation achieved full independence on 19 September 1983 and Prime Minister Dr, Timothy Harris, speaking on his weekly television programme on Tuesday night, said that the activities were being curtailed as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) that has infected 17 people in the country.
Harris said that some of the activities have also been cancelled or will be delivered virtually.
“There will be no Independence Parade this year. This is to reduce the risk of the spread of the virus with thousands of participants attending the Independence Parade. This decision was a painful one given the seminal importance of Independence at the fulcrum of our sovereign state,” Prime Minister Harris said.
He said as a result, he is urging nationals to demonstrate their patriotism on Independence Day in their own way.
“We encourage persons to wear national colours, carry their national flags with them and display their flags on their homes and public buildings. We encourage the visible display of national pride, patriotism and display of our emblems of nationhood. We encourage community activities to mark the day, mindful to comply with our COVID-19 Regulations,” Prime Minister added.
He said that the annual reception hosted by Governor-General, Sir S. W. Tapley Seaton, on Independence night will not take place this year.
“Our National Heroes Day commemorative event will take place at the National Heroes Park with social distancing and wearing of masks being observed. The programme will be curtailed. Members of the public are invited, the dignitaries and family members will also be involved in the ceremony. The Prime Minister’s Lecture Series will be delivered this year by one of our citizens in an environment which will be more compliant with the new norms of COVID-19,” Harris added.
The 37th anniversary of St. Kitts and Nevis’ Independence is being observed under the theme: “Resilience, Innovation and Security for Independence 2020.”