Tobago Chamber welcomes PM’s proposed vaccine safe zones
The Tobago Business Chamber is in support of the announcement by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley for the introduction of “safe zones”, which would allow vaccinated people to access bars, gyms, private member clubs and in-house dining at restaurants
The measure is dependent on vaccination versus infection rates.
President of the business chamber, Martin George, told Loop News the Chamber was heartened by the announcement, and wish it was introduced months ago.
George said: “We at the Tobago Chamber support the idea of trying to create a safe zone in Tobago, trying to create a bubble in Tobago, where you have herd immunity being achieved. But, the only way that will occur is if we have the support of the public… even the politicians. We need to get everybody on board with this effort.”
He continued: “It is a great idea. It’s something we would have suggested months ago, maybe it should have been implemented since then. But, even now, it’s not too late for Tobago, and we encourage it.”
The Tobago Chamber President added that the success of the initiative would require the support of all sectors, among other factors.
“It requires a mass mobilisation effort and it involves an education campaign and a marketing and PR strategy so as to be able to convince those who are sitting on the fence, those who are vaccine-hesitant and resistant, and even the outright anti-vaxxers to try to get them on board.”
He said Government should make use of public figures like athletes and artistes to get involved in the campaign and promote the message to get vaccinated.
He maintained that while the Government’s current approach is to encourage people to get vaccinated if that fails, it may become necessary to introduce legislation to ensure vaccination numbers are brought up.
George said mass vaccination, especially in the context of Tobago, which has had a much slower vaccine uptake than expected despite its wide availability and accessibility, is the route to returning to life pre-COVID.
“If Tobagonians want that to be achieved in the quickest possible way, the fastest route to that is by mass vaccination.”
The Tobago Chamber President stressed that vaccination rates have to be increased in order for the safe zones to become a reality.
George again appealed to Tobagonians to get vaccinated.
As of 10pm yesterday, 14,719 Tobagonians completed their vaccination regime, while 19,195 are on their way to becoming fully vaccinated.
By: Darlisa Ghouralal