In a major milestone for the wider Caribbean region, the island of Nevis says it is “free” of the coronavirus.
The announcement comes after the island, which has a population of around 12,000 people, launched a series of aggressive measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
It’s another strong sign for the region, following a similar revelation by the island of Anguilla at the end of last month.
Indeed, there were no active cases of the virus in Nevis on Sunday night – nor were there any tests pending, according to a statement from Nevis Premier Mark Brantley, who has been an active, inspiring presence for locals during the lockdown.
According to Brantley, the island had seen four confirmed cases, all of which had recovered.
Nevis is part of the twin-island federation of St Kitts and Nevis, which continues to keep its borders closed, following a decision by the federation on March 25 — one that included requiring nationals and residents overseas to remain offshore.
“It was a bold move by the destination that is serious about containing the spread of coronavirus, but it seems to have paid off,” the island’s tourism authority said in a statement.
Nevis had also launched an app, Nevis Health, designed to help track cases on the island.
For its part, the larger island of St Kitts has been equally aggressive, with just a handful of active cases remaining on that island.
“The decision to close our borders did not come without serious consideration as tourism is hugely important to Nevis, however, our highest priority is the health and well-being of our people. This has paid off and we are now Covid free. We wish the best for all those interested in Nevis and we hope to see you when we can finally accept visitors again.”
While it’s not yet clear when Nevis or any other Caribbean country will begin to open their borders to tourists, the move is of course a significant step.