Nevis Style Realty

COVID-19 and the Federation – St. Kitts & Nevis

 

How do small islands survive?

In 2010, under 50% of the GDP of St Kitts and Nevis was linked to tourism; just eight years later, that figure had risen to over 62%. With that in mind, the decision by Caribbean governments to close borders was not taken lightly: the Easter vacation, the last tourist rush before the hurricane season sees arrival numbers dropping, had to be abandoned. A quick glance at global statistics reveals the undeniable fact that those nations which have fared best in this crisis are all small islands, with the ready ability to easily and instantly shut all access to the outside world. 

Nevis went into a 24 hour lockdown on March 31st, residents required to stay at home at all times with strictly monitored access to supermarkets and essential services only a few days a week. The measures have been extremely successful with the number of recorded cases peaking at just 15 for the population of both islands; at the time of writing, nobody here has died in connection with a Covid-19 infection

By any standards these statistics are impressive, and while the steps taken may appear to some a touch draconian they have ensured that cases across the Eastern Caribbean have remained in the low double digits. Healthcare facilities have not been overwhelmed, and care for patients with other conditions has been ongoing. 

Moreover, this has been the time for local businesses to shine. Clifton Estate Rum based on Nevis has switched manufacturing from their award-winning spiced rum to hand sanitiser, creating a blend incorporating lemongrass and coconut oil; on St Kitts, Hibiscus Spirits have turned their hand to crafting a “Hi Five” hand sanitiser that combines lemongrass and aloe vera, which has led to over 2,000 pounds of aloe vera being purchased from local farmers. The Four Seasons Resort Estates, so often leading the response to any situation on the islands, have donated 5,000 units of these locally produced Clifton Estate Rum hand sanitisers and will ensure every home on Nevis receives vital supplies. 

The Department of Agriculture has boosted local farmers with a $10million stimulus package, aimed at increasing food production and ensuring food security. Crops such as melon, sweet pepper and pumpkin will be grown in greater abundance than ever, and an additional 38 acres is being set aside for growing peanuts and 20 acres to grow carrots. The government promises that over the coming months, every single farmer will benefit from the additional funding. 

Given the global shortage of masks, local artisans such as Deborah Tyrell, cloth artist at the Island Living Artisan Studio, have started producing them; Taiwan donated 40,000 masks to the islands as a sign of solidarity and friendship between the two nations. 

“And though she be but little, she is fierce,” wrote Shakespeare of Hermia, and the same idea applies to our strong little island. Nevis may only occupy 36 square miles of the world, but she has come out fighting against Covid-19 and is slowly, tentatively, considering declaring a victory. Islanders have drawn together and supported one another, the government has made clear, decisive and progressive moves, and businesses have adapted to suit the new needs and moods of their audience. The indomitable spirit of St. Kitts and Nevis reigns supreme. 



St. Kitts and Nevis Real Estate Sales

Buying real estate on St Kitts or Nevis may be an astute investment, a lifestyle choice, or the culmination of a lifelong dream. Whatever your motivation, Nevis Style Realty will find the perfect property for you. In addition to our purchasing and listing services, our real estate expertise ensure that all legal aspects of buying, selling or renting homes are covered. Furthermore, we offer property management, holiday rentals, and car rental services with our sister company, Nevis Auto Rental Ltd.

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