BVI News

Government won’t sacrifice people’s safety during cruise season

Director of Tourism Clive McCoy

The government has said it will not sacrifice the safety of its people despite the reopening of the ports for the cruise ship season.

Speaking at yesterday’s ceremony for the return of cruising to the British Virgin Islands, Director of Tourism Clive McCoy said the priority of government is to ensure all residents and visitors remain safe during the busy cruise season.

“We are still in a fight to understand the mutating virus and how we navigate it to save lives and stay healthy while living life in the most fulfilling way,” the director said.

“We have listened to the advice of our cruise line partners and we will continue to work in partnership with them to preserve the full enjoyment of our visitors’ travel experience without sacrificing safety,” McCoy added.

The Tourism Director said this can be achieved through enforcing and adhering to the simple and practical health and safety protocols implemented by the government to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

McCoy also said that, for a long time, it appeared the priority of staying safe and healthy were competing with the BVI’s role of being an exotic tourism destination. However, “research and technology and established best practices have enabled us to reach a place where we could find mutual benefit that would enable us to remain safe,” he stated.

Follow the protocols

While also delivering remarks at the ceremony, Premier and Tourism Minister Andrew Fahie said the government is ready for the docking of the cruise ships but everyone must follow the safety measures to protect themselves. The Premier used the opportunity to make fresh calls for persons to get vaccinated and add an extra level of protection against the virus.

He said nearly 51 percent of the population is vaccinated so far. And while he is pleased to have reached this percentage, Premier Fahie said he wants the figure to eventually rise to 90 percent of the population.

“While we are open for business, it’s not business as usual. Everyone should have their mask on at all times … Not only the visitors have to protect themselves but you here at the Pier Park, Craft Alive and the Taxi Operators,” he added.

School children must be protected

With regards to taxi operators, especially those who will transport school children, the Premier said they must ensure their buses are fully sanitised and if they do not, they will get in trouble with the law.

“You are going to transport school children and you have to bear in mind that what you do in terms of safety will also save their lives. It might very well be your child on the bus. So, treat every child like it’s your child,” Fahie said.

The Tourism Minister said this is just one of the few measures the government has in place to protect the residents and the visitors during the cruise season. He added that testing facilities have been established at the different ports of entry to have everything in order for the tourist season.

“We will go and visit them together with spot checks because each person working must understand that once you go and do your work in this COVID era faster than usual; the different organs of the economy will start to function,” Fahie said.

He also said his government will ensure that everything is operating smoothly on Anegada, Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke and that people are following the necessary protocols on those sister islands.

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9 Comments

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  1. SMH says:

    Another well dressed complete waste.

    Like 12
    Dislike 2
  2. @ mc COY says:

    YOU ARE LATE BRO

  3. Doh says:

    Yes. Yes they will.

    Safety takes a backseat to dollars and the people will be tr ones paying them. Since we aren’t all getting vaccinated, when someone who isn’t gets YOU sick, you are the one who pays.

    You have to pay for tests, doctor visits, hopefully not a hospital stay, you lose work, ability to pay for rent, car, food, daycare. The list is endless. Sorry the people pay

  4. Taxi drivers says:

    Most of them are not vaccinated..recipe for disaster

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
  5. Rubbish says:

    Boy go find a seat from talking f**k! People have had 10 months to get vaccinated or risk their lives by contracting COVID so stop the pandering. Everyone has a right to be vaccinated or not vaccinated, we cannot keep the Territory closed off due to fears and being wilfully ignorant. It’s time to open the economy and stop the fearmongering. Furthermore, COVID is not the only thing that kills people, stress kills as well and people are stressed out with bills due and barely any work due to a closed economy.

    Like 13
    Dislike 1
  6. Strupes. Heap a nonsense.. says:

    Dont bring them then…We cant eat our cake and still have it…We have to be willing to take a certain amt of risk to move forward,,,Each person is responsible for their own safety…Do the right thing.

  7. Antigua says:

    Safest port for cruisers to visit ashore because that government mandated virus vaccination for all inhabitants by 1st October 2021.

    Like 3
    Dislike 4
  8. Ball boy says:

    Let’s be honest, this is a complete disaster waiting to happen isn’t it? 51% of the population is vaccinated, which is mainly made up of expat and professional workers, as opposed to front line service and tourism members of the public who are most at risk and most exposed to tourists who are naturally more likely to be carrying a form of this virus.

    The vaccination rate hasn’t moved for months. If you want to live in a small island nation with tourism as a major pillar of the economy, the vaccination rates need to be 85%+ to prevent shutdowns and a serious public health crisis.

    The Government needs to get serious about mandating it if it wants to maintain tourism as a major source of income.

    Like 7
    Dislike 1

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