The Ministry of Tourism has denied plans to de-register taxi operators.
The de-registration claims were made in a voice note posted on social media.
It quoted tourism officials as saying during a COVID-19 training session, that there is a new licencing regime coming in which taxi drivers will have to re-apply to be able to operate after meeting new requirements.
The voice note asserted that in essence, all taxi drivers are ‘virtually de-certified’ .
It declared that they will have to obtain certification to operate when the gradual reopening of this country’s borders begins on June 4.
However the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism has made it clear that no taxi driver has been registered.
Donalyn Vittet told the National Television Network (NTN) on Sunday that on hearing the message, she spoke to the taxi union and some of the taxi associations.
She told NTN’s Lissa Joseph that there are a lot of fallacies and misconceptions that have been circulating regarding this country’s preparation for tourism and travel.
“We plan to try to solve as many problems as we can, letting people know that there is no measure that we are instituting now which is an attack on your livelihood – it is all towards ensuring the persons are remaining safe. It is all towards ensuring we tell the rest of the Saint Lucian public what we are doing,” Vittet
“If there are measures for taxi drivers – like there are measures for accommodation service providers and water based and faith based and restaurants and everybody else, we have to take that level of responsibility to welcome those measures and ensure that we work with the system for the safety of all concerned,” the PS told NTN.
Vitter disclosed that the taxi drivers have expressed a few concerns.
“We appreciate those concerns and we will have a meeting with them on Wednesday,” she stated.
The PS said the meeting will discuss what the concerns are so that steps can be taken to address them.
“No, not at all,” was her response when asked about de-registration of taxi drivers.
But Vittet answered in the affirmative to the question of certification being needed, as with all other establishments, in regard to COVID-19 protocols.