Ernest Hilaire Believes Not The Right Time To Open To US

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.

17 COMMENTS

  1. Open up the Country now and Later what Difference does it make .The Visitors just have to follow protocols .Everyone is being Checked upon arrival so.Earnest Hilare is a Rich Man so He’s free to say what he Feels like .One Question What have he Contributed to poor people in St.Lucia During this Coronavirus Nada

  2. I agree dusty rhodes. Ernest Hilaire is certainly not among the group of St Lucians struggling to eat or pay a bill. Almost every country is contaminated with this vurus. We have to move on. We have to return to some level of normalcy and accept a level of risk as the country reopens. To leave the borders of St Lucia closed for longer is very easy to say for those we are financially able. The harder hit countries like Italy and England have managed to re-open their borders and closely monitoring the rate of the infection. Likewise, this is what St Lucia has to do. As much as covid is everywhere, alot of people are still covid negative. Not every one has covid. There are people in St Lucia who are truly unable to afford to eat. I think Hilare should divert his energy to get NIC to pay the hundreds of St lucians who are overdue to be paid. As the saying goes” if you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem”.

  3. Ernest Hilaire makes perfect sense. Opening up to the US is a suicidal move likely to have devastating consequences which our health services are ill equipped to handle. Europe bars them (Americans) from entry why are we letting them in?.Big mistake.

  4. Dusty Rhodes and Jade are missing the point. Dr. Hilaire clearly gave alternatives instead of the U.S. Additionally, he gave a legitimate reason why we shouldn’t open to the U.S.
    Even a child can see that this is suicidal.
    Stop talking about how Hilaire can pay his bills already.
    Smh

  5. Are u Europe….Does Europe rely on tourism for its people to eat. Did the borders just open to allow persons to come and go as they want?? No it did not there are rules in place measures in place to protect locals in my opinion if adhered to will be just fine. ITS NOT JUST AMERICANS LOOKING TO COME TO SAINT LUCIA. THERE ARE LUCIANS WHO HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO COME HOME TO THIER FAMILIES FOR ALMOST A YEAR NOW WHO NEED TO COME HOME. like the first commentator said open today open tomorrow those measures are still going to be needed this is not going away for another year or two.. and as the second commentator said if you are not part of the solution dont be part of the problem.

    • And do you trust everyone to follow the rules. And do you trust the authorities to enforce them. No I don’t. There will inevitably be issues with it. Covid comes knocking. Remember the waiting list for people seeking dialysis. Now imagine a waiting list for people needing ventilators. And imagine all our scant medical resources totally focused on caring for covid patients. Now imagine what happens to the diabetics, cancer patients and needed other forms of care. It’s not just covid you have to worry about. Think about the bigger picture. Remember the hospital bed shortages?

  6. The U.S dollar is great in our pocket we cannot survive without the American dollar.America don’t need St Lucia we need their money.TOURIST

  7. Why we will want bad for our country…the PM is not doing discission on his own… Hilliar that is why you on the opposite side.. the virus is not going away I want SLP to win the election a bunch of hungry power people…my God lucians don’t let politicians use your brains for you please..I want to know if what they are going to fix the economy… Now you all afraid of Americans and your all want barrels from America hypocrite.God bless the PM and team

  8. Helaire will oppose everything that the government do. We have about 20 countries in a bubble and almost three quarters of these country’s borders are open to the USA. Don’t you think that the US tourist in these countries can spread the virus to their citizens just as they can to us. If this happens, these citizens can still come to St Lucia without prior testing. I wish Helaire and his bunch of joker’s were in power now and I hope they win the next election in the midst of Covid 19 to see how they will deal with it. There has just been too much negativity from them from the onset.

  9. We deserve better, i can’t believe your statement i quote:
    And do you trust everyone to follow the rules. And do you trust the authorities to enforce them. No I don’t. End of quote. Seriously? How then were we able to navigate through this pandemic at its early stage in St-Lucia, if members of the general public didn’t follow the rules and protocols and if the Authorities didn’t enhance and reinforce them.? Think again.

  10. Simple, not one of those in favor of St. Lucia opening it’s borders to America with its present situation of Covid 19 spiraling out of control, given a choice would choose wealth over health. Let us all be objective and stop politicizing this discussion.

  11. We don’t need you racist arrogant citizens of the usa.
    And for Christ sake, stop calling yourselves Americans; you are not the only country on the American Continent; you are only the worst!

  12. Those of you who are against the reopening of the borders, are you assisting the ones who are financially devastated by impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality industry? We are better prepared today than when the borders were first closed. COVID-19 will be with us for a while, we just need to comply with the protocol that’s in place to remain safe.

  13. If you’ll SLP boys were in office we saint lucians would have to suck salt. You’ll rich boys only care about you’ll selfs and nobody else, no wonder when SLP in office Lucia GDP not going anywhere but down. I don’t know why lucians would want to vote SLP back in office again

  14. If the government had not opened to Americans and only open to the countries Hilaire suggested then he would find something else to say in opposition to what was done. Because all these guys do is opposed everything done by this administration. I understand why SLP has been in opposition for so long. I bet you if Chas says he will just hand prime ministership to PJP they will oppose it.
    Continue to oppose everything and you will continue to enjoy your rightful place, THE OPPOSITION BENCHES

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