Speaking on a Friday, October 30, 2020, episode of JTV The Big Story, with Host Cathy O. Richards, Bishop Cline said that as an outsider looking in at the strategies of the government, there is a great concern for the tourism sector that has served the Virgin Islands (VI) for many years.
Meanwhile, Health Minister, Hon Carvin Maline (AL) along with the Premier have said that some of the re-opening policies including a 4th mandatory COVID-19 test is under review given the fluidity of the Government’s plan.
“If it wasn’t for the financial services, we would have taken a much different approach”, he said pointing to Jamaica and a high percentage of low-income earners working in the hospitality sector in that country.
Premier Andrew A. Fahie (R1) on Monday, October 26, 2020, announced that with the December 1, 2020, re-opening of the VI’s tourism sector, tourists would be subjected to up the 4 COVID-19 tests and must meet a number of terms before they are allowed unrestricted access to the territory.
According to Bishop Cline, “If you give the government the benefit of the doubt and say they're trying to save lives… when do you understand that saving my life while killing my business is not saving my life,” he said.
Bishop Cline called the government to strike a balance that can create an environment for saving lives and for businesses to thrive.
Meanwhile, Health Minister, Hon Carvin Malone (AL) along with the Premier have said that some of the re-opening policies including a 4th mandatory COVID-19 test would be subject to review given the fluidity of the Government’s plan.
“If our citizens are telling us that it could be looked at in other ways that we can implement the safety of it, we are prepared to look at it and have our professionals look at this,” the Hon Malone said at a Tuesday, October 27, 2020, press conference.
“If we have an outbreak tomorrow the same people who would be looking critically at the measures put in place, will be the very same ones that will turn around the criticism in terms of, what have you done,” he further said.
Bishop Cline remarked that the VI has done great so far with managing the virus and the territory should learn to live with the virus, rather than judging cases, “we have to depart from the idea that we will have no cases,” he said.