Tobago welcomes ease of restrictions
Vaccination rate remains a concern
Tobago Business Chamber President Martin George says the island has welcomed the Prime Minister’s decision to ease restrictions within several sectors, as it would not only benefit business owners but citizens as well.
“We are always moved by anything which promotes greater business activity and greater facilitation of the business persons of Trinidad and Tobago” he said.
George said the chamber is of the opinion that the eases are always consistent “with the results we have seen from the Ministry of Health, in terms of declines of COVID-19 infection numbers, hospitalizations and deaths.”
Two weeks ago George also issued a call for the Prime Minister and Caribbean Airlines to address forthwith, the many issues plaguing the domestic airbridge. He said long lines and limited flights to the island are hindering progress.
Meantime, Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association vice-president Carol-Ann Birchwood-James says while she is happy for the ease, she is still very concerned about the country’s vaccination rate.
“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.”
In a statement in the House of Representatives on Friday, the Prime Minister announced an easing of restrictions in several sectors.
Most notably, he said that all public servants are expected to return to work from today, 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. However, mask-wearing in public remains mandatory.
Date: March 7, 2022
By: Beena Mahase