Tobago hotelier worries about borderline vaccinations
Even as she welcomed the government’s decision to further ease the covid19 restrictions, Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association vice-president Carol-Ann Birchwood-James on Saturday said she was still very concerned about the country’s vaccination rate.
In a statement in the House of Representatives on Friday, the Prime Minister announced an easing of restrictions in several sectors.
Most notably, Rowley announced that all public servants are expected to return to work on Monday while public transportation will return to full capacity. Designated safe zones can now operate at 75 per cent capacity.
He also announced that churches and other places of worship can return to full congregations while team and contact sports will also resume. Mask-wearing in public remains mandatory.
Birchwood-James said it was time the country returned to some semblance of normalcy.
“But I am a little concerned that our vaccination rate is only about 50 per cent. We are comparing ourselves to other countries but the other countries have vaccination rates of 55 per cent and more. I think France is about 92 per cent. So, we have to be careful with the comparison,” she said.
After almost two years of the pandemic, Birchwood-James said citizens have been living under restrictions for too long.
“We need our economy to be moving. We need our tourism to be moving. We want people to come for leisure, make our money, and therefore, we have to ease some of restrictions.
“We cannot make it rigorous for people to come to Tobago and enjoy the bars, the entertainment, the beaches. We want them to come to enjoy all of that. So, we need to ease some of the restrictions.”
The Tobago Business Chamber said it also welcomed the further easing of restrictions.
“We are always excited at anything that promotes greater business activity and greater facilitation of business persons within Trinidad and Tobago,” chamber president Martin George said in a Whatsapp voice note.
“We think that these easings are consistent with the results we have seen from the ministry in terms of the declines in the number of covid19 infections, hospitalisations and deaths. And, we encourage the Government to keep being proactive in terms of these steps and measures to increase business activity both in Tobago and Trinidad.”
BY: COREY CONNELLY