Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee while acknowledging local concerns over a tourism industry that remains open amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, has defended the measure.
“I do understand with what’s going on in the world, especially in light of the new international wave when we look at what’s taking place in the United States – that you see from our main source markets a number of the states are going in the wrong direction in terms of their numbers and this is causing a lot of panic and anxiety among the local populace as it relates to whether it is safe for us to continue doing tourism,” Fedee stated.
“Well I would say that all of the evidence that we have says it is safe because what we are seeing is a very managed and controlled environment,” he asserted.
But he did acknowledge that the risk is real.
Fedee said he wanted to debunk any suggestion that tourists are being allowed to roam about.
“That is not true,” he asserted.
“The tourists come in, they are checked, they present their negative COVID test, they go to a very managed environment,” the Minister told St Lucia Times.
Fedee said the visitors board a taxi with a driver trained to deal with positive COVID-19 cases, even though the guests have to present a negative COVID test.
He observed that the visitors go to the hotel where the staff are also trained to be able to deal with ‘any such situations.’
“Therefore what we have is a managed set of protocols, so if the guests want to go on tours, they now have to go on tours that are certified, that have protocols and so along the way we have a very stringent and robust enforcement of the protocols within the hotels, (at) the airport, the taxi drivers and along the entire chain of experiences,”Fedee stated.
Headline photo caption: File photo of Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee