COVID-19: PM Says Saint Lucia Has To Be Able To Open To The World

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Prime Minister Allen Chastanet said Tuesday that this countryhas to  be able to open its economy.

He spoke during a nationally televised briefing in which he announced changes to existing COVID-19 protocols.

“I am calling on all Saint Lucians to play your part. We have to reopen our economy, we have get our children back to school, we have to be able to be open to the rest of the world,” he explained.

According to the PM, the reality is that tourism plays a significant part in the economy.

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“And I hear persons say well, Prime Minister seems to be doing this for tourists. I can assure all Saint Lucians I am not doing this for tourists,” Chastanet asserted.

“We are not doing this for tourists. We’re doing this for ourselves. We are doing this for the thousands of Saint Lucians who did not have a job and our economy does not have the ability to replace those jobs,” he stated.

He said: “We are doing it for the taxi drivers; we are doing it for the bus drivers; we’re doing it for the farmers.”

In addition he noted: “We are doing it for the government, that we have resources to pay for all these additional services that we are having to put in place.”

“If we didn’t have to have tourism open we wouldn’t, but we don’t have the ability to replace the revenue that tourism was giving to our own citizens and we must all understand and appreciate that,” Chastanet told the nation.

“It’s the money that they have that keep the small grocery stores going. It’s the money they have that they can continue to pay the  banks,” he explained.

Chastanet said he was proud and grateful that the government has been able to manage its affairs, so that civil servants would not have to wonder where their next pay cheque would come from.

He said the civil servants have been able to honour their own obligations.

“But every single Saint Lucian in this country deserves the same,” the PM said.

“And sadly, the only way to do that is to have our economy open,” he explained.

However, Chastanet said the only way the economy can be open is if everyone observes the protocols.

He thanked citizens for what they have been doing.

“Your patience, your frustration and we as a government, we can feel that pain and we really want to be able to make this thing work, but we cannot do it by ourselves,” Chastanet declared.

Headline photo: Allen Chastanet file image

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

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