Premier Andrew Fahie has said he believes the British Virgin Islands economy would be crippled if the territory undergoes a second COVID-19 lockdown.
In a recent public address, Premier Fahie warned residents of the dangers associated with a second lockdown, stating that COVID-19 remains an imminent threat to all countries, including the BVI.
“All of our precautionary measures for protecting our people from the public health threat of COVID-19 are soundly grounded in the law of the land. And, your government is being very cautious in dealing with this very fluid situation because another round of lockdown can cripple our economy to the point that we may not be able to bounce back,” said Fahie, who is also Minister of Finance.
“Indeed, we understand and empathise with the inconvenience and hardship that COVID-19 is causing to everyone. However, we must be cognisant of the double-threat to public health and the economy,” he added.
Government to continue with cautious approach
Premier Fahie also said his government will continue with a cautious approach towards the reopening of the territory’s borders as they do not want to make the same mistakes seen across the region and the wider world.
“We continue to see countries rushing forward with haste to open their borders, refusing to close their borders, or disobeying the recommended hygiene and safety protocols, only for them to hastily retreat as they experience a surge of infections in their population,” he stated.
“Can I tell you that right now, the only measures that are scientifically proven to keep us all safe are social distancing, wearing of appropriate masks or shields, and washing our hands regularly? These measures are simple for us to do, so let us continue to do them.”
Fahie said the phased method to the reopening of the territory’s borders is evident of his administration’s careful approach.
He said he believes this approach will aid his team of professionals in realistically managing the BVI’s environment and surroundings, as the world continues to adjust to the new normal of co-existing with COVID-19.
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