Asserting that Saint Lucia has a COVID-19 protocol that’s working, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet Tuesday declared that there are no cases of tourists affecting locals.
“Not one. So despite some of the attempts by persons to suggest that there is a front door and a back door, we got this through the back door – there’s no argument about that,” Chastanet stated.
The PM spoke against the backdrop of mounting concern over a continuing increase in COVID-19 cases being recorded by the Ministry of Health.
There has so far been one death locally from the virus.
He lashed out at the opposition, saying that it was sad that they would continue what he described as ‘this disgusting behaviour’ of undermining the government when it tries to do anything and cause people to panic and doubt what is being said.
Chastanet was responding to an observation regarding COVID-19 protocols for Barbados.
According to the website VisitBarbados.org, persons travelling from or transiting through High-Risk countries with a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test result will have restricted movement at a designated holding hotel or approved villa at their own expense, or free of charge at a government facility.
“Persons will need to retest 4-5 days after their first accepted negative test result. Should the second test be negative, they can then enjoy unrestricted movement. They will continue to be monitored for 7 days after arrival,” the website observed.
Prime Minister Chastanet noted that in the case of Barbados, the reason for the second test is because persons do not have as many all inclusive hotels.
“They don’t have the ability of isolating people into a hotel, so when people come in and they go to a hotel or an apartment building, they will be circulating in their community and we do that here,” the PM declared.
“So when Saint Lucian nationals come home, persons, business people that come here and they want to be able to interact, they get their test, their seven days – after the seventh day they get a second test. If their second test is fine, they are allowed to go out.”
“We have the same protocols, but it’s for two different things. We have a situation where we have one test for the tourists that are coming in and they’re staying for the most part isolated in their hotels,” Chastanet told reporters.
“We’ve had over 18,000 tourists that we have had in this country so we have a large enough sample to know that the protocols we’re practicing are working,” the PM asserted.
But he lamented that sadly, getting people here not to allow others to enter Saint Lucia illegally has not been as successful.
Prime Minister Chastanet believes if people adhere to the protocols, Saint Lucia will be able to minimise the number of COVID-19 cases.
“Again, I am urging Saint Lucians – go to work and go home,” Chastanet declared.