Friday 30 October, 2020

PM says safety of locals a priority in post COVID-19 tourism plan

Prime Minister Mia Mottley

Prime Minister Mia Mottley

Prime Minister Mia Mottley has assured the public once more that the health and safety of citizens is paramount; this time as the tourism sector seeks to reopen next month. 

With commercial flights scheduled to commence from July 12, Mottley acknowledged that Barbados could not afford to suspend commercial flights indefinitely. But, she put to bed any ideas that she was putting the economy before human life, asserting that the safety of Barbadians will be put first and foremost. 

"We understand that there are those who will have concerns but at no time will human life become secondary to our economy. We are not those people, we don’t do it that way," the Prime Minister remarked during a live press conference from Illaro Court (June 26). 

"Any plan to welcome visitors to our shores again and to allow tourism-based establishments to reopen must and will put the safety of Barbadians first. I have said it too many times, it is non-negotiable," she added. 

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Mottley explained that appropriate health and safety protocols will be adhered to as Barbados reopens its borders to visitors via commercial airlines from tourist markets globally. She emphasized that her Government will put the safety of citizens first and ensure that communication channels between the public and government agencies consistently remain in operation to promptly address and monitor any issues should they arise. 

She detailed that the newly established COVID Monitoring Unit headed by deputy chief of the Environmental Department, Ronald Chapman will seek to address and solve the concerns of the public. The Unit will include officers from the Ministry of Labour as well. 

Mottley cautioned that the public will be monitored by authorities to ensure that the health and safety protocols under the Emergency Services Directive are adhered to as all curfew restrictions will be removed from Wednesday, July 1. 

"We will be monitoring to make sure that people understand that you must comply with them all of the time. Brake and accelerate. The more we comply with them [the protocols] the more we can return to liming in Oistins, going to The Gap, going to Baxters Road . . .  going to Lemon Arbor in St John, Martin's Bay, or any of the popular spots across the country," she indicated.

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