The First Deputy Political leader of the opposition Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP), Ernest Hilaire, does not believe this is the right time for Saint Lucia to open to the United States.
“We do not support opening up to countries that are high risk,” Hilaire asserted, adding that the United States is currently the country worst affected by COVID-19.
He compared the situation to Russian roulette.
Chief Medical Officer, Doctor Sharon Belmar-George said on Monday that even with increased testing, the reality remains that Saint Lucia has a population that is susceptible.
“The risk of new cases can be anticipated, particularly given the opening of our borders and the tourism sector which will result in the increased movement of people,” the CMO stated.
On Thursday Saint Lucia welcomed an American Airlines flight from Miami with strict COVID-19 protocols being enforced.
It was the first commercial international flight to arrive here since the country opened its borders on June 4.
Appearing on the DBS Television programme Newsmaker Live on Wednesday, the day before the flight touched down at Hewanorra International airport, Ernest Hilaire, questioned whether it was worth the risk to Saint Lucians.
He presented what he described as his layman’s understanding of the situation.
“I would feel more comfortable, and I am sure my colleagues would feel more comfortable, if we open our local economy full steam, if we open up the local economy and give it extra support so it can really become sustainable,” Hilaire told programme Host, Timothy Poleon.
“If we open up to the regional countries that have similar situations like ours, if we open up internationally to the countries that have shown they really had a robust response and their situation is under control – like Canada for example, I think these are signs of how we should do it,” the Castries South MP said.
“I believe if the United States starts showing in their national response and in their data and statistics that the situation is under control in the United States and the threat to us is severely reduced, I think those are signs that we should open up to them,” Hilaire asserted.