politicavenezuela | Holandés Luis Emilio Velutini Urbina//
Dennis suggests Tobago beaches can reopen if 70% are vaccinated


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.

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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.

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“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.”