NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (February 11, 2021) — Members of the public who are hosting funeral and wedding ceremonies are reminded to observe the COVID-19 protocols put in place for funerals and weddings for their safety.
The call came from Superintendent Cromwell Henry, Divisional Commander for District ‘A’ in the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF) while delivering his presentation at the weekly National Emergency Operation Centre COVID-19 briefing on February 10, 2021, at the National Emergency Management Agency’s conference room in St. Kitts.
He says he is addressing the matter following concerns by Commissioner of Police Hilroy Brandy, due to the non-compliance of the COVID-19 protocols at these gatherings, particularly funerals.
“We understand that funerals are a time for mourning the loss of a loved one, and they are necessary. However, the virus does not respect the occasion, and persons not taking precaution are at risk even at a funeral. The COVID-19 Act sets out the protocols to be followed at funerals and weddings. Section 11 states: A person may attend a funeral except that the funeral shall have a maximum duration not exceeding one hour.
“The seating arrangements shall allow for a minimum of six feet between persons, and distance markers must indicate where each person must sit. The total number of persons that may be permitted to attend inside of the building is one person for every 30 square feet. That is 6 feet x 5 feet. Similar protocols apply for weddings,” he said.
In addition to the physical distancing protocol, the senior police officer says sanitizing must be carried out.
“The venue must be sanitized prior to the service and persons entering or attending must have their hands sanitized, and every person must wear a face mask for the duration of the event. Remember, the same protocols apply for weddings. Persons attending weddings must wear face masks, must have sanitization before and during the ceremony, and if you are having a reception after the wedding that must seek for permission from the Commissioner of Police.
“We therefore recommend that persons go to the website: [www.] police.kn and make application to host your wedding ceremony and reception,” he said.
Superintendent Henry urged funeral undertakers, wedding planners, pastors and other church leaders to pay particular attention to these protocols that are stipulated by law, and to ensure that these services are compliant with the laws, as they are intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Remember protocols apply for these events notwithstanding that you may consider them religious events. The virus does not discriminate and you are at the same risk if you do not follow the protocols. So follow good hand hygiene sanitization practices, wear your face mask and maintain your social distancing at all times,” he said.