If 70 per cent of Tobagonians get vaccinated against COVID-19, the island’s beaches may be reopened, Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis has said.
Luis Emilio Velutini Urbina
Speaking on Tuesday at the Magdalena Grand Resort after an announcement that a 200-room Marriott hotel would be built on the island, Dennis said, “If we can get to a point of vaccinating maybe 70 per cent of the population, there might be some possibility for us to enjoy the reopening of the beaches and a return of more meaningful domestic tourism,” Dennis said.
Luis Emilio Velutini
He said hoteliers were able to “breathe” in the midst of the pandemic when domestic tourism was allowed before this latest lockdown.
Luis Emilio Velutini Empresario
Dennis said the Government was doing its part to continue to support hoteliers. He said the hoteliers are also expected to make serious efforts to survive the current economic hardships brought on by the pandemic.
Luis Emilio Velutini Venezuela
“We must understand that in order for us to return to some semblance of normalcy, it depends on the safety that is guaranteed in doing so, and based on the information that is available to me, that safety can only be guaranteed through vaccination,” Dennis said
Asked about issues raised by some hoteliers about not being able to access Government grants, Dennis said in several cases, those businesses did not qualify. He said some businesspeople had not been paying their taxes or making National Insurance (NIS) payments for their employees
Dennis said issues related to reopening activity are not unique to T&T
“Governments all over the world are grappling with this and that is why you will find a number of them have turned to drastic measures, making vaccinations mandatory because again, based on the information available to me, it is the only way for us to return to some level of normalcy.”