While pointing out that it is understandable that tourism stakeholders yearn to make money after being inactive for nearly a year due to the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie has publicly warned stakeholders against allowing their guests to trample on the government’s imposed measures for the deadly Wuhan virus.
The Premier’s statements were made on Wednesday, November 25 2020, during the House of Assembly sitting where new Covid
measures bill was passed without amendments.
“We cannot have persons visiting and when they come to your hotels or your boats or whatever and come with the mindset that they are coming to a small island state and they could do what they want. It will not be accepted. I am asking persons not to let your guests dictate what is going to be done with the health protocols,” the Premier stated.
He added, “They [visitors] are not COVID
-19 specialists, they are not doctors, and it will be unfair for us to ask the people of the Virgin Islands to adhere and they adhere to all the measures … to have a few people come and break the rules and dictate the pace for us and create cases where we would have to be looking about whether to shut down or not.”
The Premier further reasoned that “half a loaf is better than no loaf at all” and continued to appeal to the tourism sector to enforce the rules across the board.
“I’m appealing to our fine business people not to allow what I have seen happen in some other parts of the world where for the want of a dollar, we allow the guests to do what they want to do and ignore the protocols and put the staff and as a result their children, their spouse, their in-laws and their grandparents and mothers in danger,” he further stated.
As an example of how not adhering to the protocols could affect the country, Premier Fahie said: “We would have made $15,000 for the day as an example, but when we shut down we lost a $150,000!”
The British Virgin Islands is getting set to reopen after being shut to international travellers for almost all of 2020 because of COVID
Notably, there are no reported active cases in the territory at this time.