BVI News

Now is the time for Caribbean to establish protocols to facilitate inter-regional travel — Walwyn

While pointing out that it can do much for ailing economies, former legislator Myron Walwyn said the Organization of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) should establish protocols among themselves to facilitate inter-regional travel.

He told BVI News at the weekend that the Caribbean, except for a few countries, has low coronavirus cases and this should be used to the region’s advantage, as a means to stimulate the respective economies.

“Though many countries are providing help packages for their citizens, many will not be able to keep it up for much longer as the government coffers have more going out than what is coming in. Something needs to be done to immediately address the high unemployment rates and movement of Caribbean people through the Caribbean safely can help,” he stated.

He continued: “Through the OECS heads of government apparatus; for example, our respective healthcare authorities could develop common testing protocols and other necessary protocols amongst themselves for people wishing to travel from one Caribbean country to the next. It can be done.”

New revenue needed

Walwyn said the respective countries in the region require a new revenue stream. He said the region’s individual economies will not thrive on internal money circulation alone.

“Each country needs new money injected. We can do this for each other. Guesthouses, car rentals, restaurants and other such businesses can benefit from this initiative,” he stated.

However, he said with the high number of COVID-19 cases in the United States, for example, extreme care should be used for international travel at this juncture.

Walwyn further said the region cannot afford to squander overall efforts of Caribbean nations in keeping COVID-19 cases low. 

“Additionally, our healthcare systems may not be able to handle to a widespread of the disease. [So] we have to carefully manage the balance between health and the survival of the economy. Re-opening regional travel safely should be preferred over re-opening international travel,” he stated.

The former legislator also gave kudos to those countries, including the British Virgin Islands that were able to secure their borders early and have low or no active cases presently.

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  1. waylox says:

    All he doing is looking out for he island people them.

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  2. down2earth says:

    Government needs to subsidize VI Air Link!

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  3. SMH says:

    Still trying to D*****e

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  4. 2cents says:

    which person that lives on an island with a beach will travel to another island with a beach? Answer no one. Figure out how to re open safely. Require covid tests 72 hours prior to arrival, screen passengers at port of entry…The economy will crash and burn and people will be suffering in other ways. Everyone can’t work for the government!

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    • Globe trotter says:

      It’s very obvious that you don’t travel. Some of us take trips to St. Martin, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo etc for a getaway and have a great time. So traveling inter-caribbean is not a novel idea. Keep your two cents buddy!

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  5. islandguy says:

    There is no reason that all the Caribbean Islands shouldn’t look to the EU as a rough model to establish better pathways to more efficiently deal such things as law enforcement, inter island travel, agriculture, healthcare, etc. Each island is unique, and yet each island shares needs that might be more efficiently met communally. It is possible with the right planning to maintain individuality and at the same time benefit from group solutions to governmental and economics problems.

  6. E. Leonard says:

    True, CARICOM region countries have had low Covid-19 infections and deaths.However, the low infection rates and deaths are due to most governments closing their borders relatively airtight. How was the testing of the population per capita?

    The VI community made many personal sacrifices and endured many hardships, including unemployment, during the lockdowns. Nonetheless, the VI earned some Covid-19 dividends that it cannot squander and must expend effectively and wisely. The delicate balance of reopening must be done effectively, cautiously and safely.

    Moreover, Covid-19 resulted in high unemployment and the unemployment picture in the near-term is still uncertain. Faced with unemployment and other hardships, many residents in regional countries, including the VI, were expecting a US-styled stimulus package. Some countries were able to deliver and others have challenges in delivering. However, with a $40M grant from Social Security, the VI government was able to meet some of the temporary needs of residents. Nonetheless, going forward, there will be long-term challenges for the VI and other regional countries.

    Consequently, the UK needs to rollout a Marshall-style plan for its OTs. Further, advanced countries, UN, wealthy countries in the Commonwealth of Nations, OECD, WB, IMF……etc should come together to help smaller economically weaker nations, eg, SIDS, that have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19.

    Moreover, small, resource-poor, mono-economy regional countries pretending to go it alone has always been a weakness. However, Covid-19 has exposed that weakness and highlighted the need and value of regional integration. The region needs to work cooperatively and collaboratively to share limited resources to provide the most assistance to most people in the region, eg, medical, disaster preparedness, environmental, legal, immigration, food production/food security, education……..etc. Developed countries cannot see the Caricom region as invisible and dispensable.

    • @E. Leonard says:

      @E. Leonard, you must have gone to the good to great Elmore Stoutt High School. No wonder elite locals want to send off island to school. You seemed hard head or you just deliberate. One more time. Not a damn £ of UK taxpayers money for the BVI. The UK has it’s own economic problems. BVI don’t pay UK tax but want UK taxpayers hard earned £s. You bl…..ks.

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      • The TRUTH says:

        That’s fine. We will make do and survive somehow. But at the same time, keep your grand decrees that come down from the throne or where the hell ever, that will affect out industries and way of living. We don’t wanna hear it. You crac..s.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hey limey, UK owes and owes us very big. Go read some UK slave history, and after, hope that the facts gained triggers a moral awakening.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Some people will forever want back in their hands what was stolen from them. Wouldn’t you limey jonas?

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  9. Mike says:

    I guess he’s no math major.
    If you take a group of countries, with more money going out, then coming in, and they start doing business with each other, they will still have more money going out, then coming in.

    • Smh says:

      I guess you’re not a reading and comprehension major then. He was referring to government coffers. That is different from the money that private individuals have. We should take time to read and understand instead of reading to criticize and then make fools of ourselves. Walwyn points are solid and valid.

  10. S. says:

    Why this dude don’t just disappear

  11. not a fan says:

    But, this time the man has a point. We need a plan to start opening the borders and soon. We are going to crash and burn soon. No income for those in the tourist business. No help from government. This virus is not going away. We have to learn to live with it as best as we can. If not, we will all be bankrupted, our employees will have all left, and there will be no where for the tourists to go. I doubt any of them will want to stay at Patsy’s the only place making any money.

  12. Tafari Zharr says:

    A resounding echo to my sentiments contributed ron June 29 re: airport runway!- BVI as a Gateway dynamic over due as real revenue

  13. Political Observer (PO) says:

    Eye doctors hate opposition politicians, for in opposition they can see things as clear as mud. However, once in power, the same politicians lose their sense of bearing, letting the positional power, status and influence cloud their judgment and scale their eyes. In opposition, they are humble and civil; well, at least some of them. But once elected, the humility and civility are cast out the window and egotism and arrogance take hold.

    Perhaps, the latter was always their true selves. We must be aware of wolves in sheep clothing and get interested in sheep in wolves clothing. When people tell you or show you who they are, you must believe them. Some say power corrupts, power is addicting and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

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