Mot­t­ley: We will not rush to re­open borders

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIO­NAL -


CARIBBEAN COM­MU­NITY (CARI­COM) coun­tries will adopt mea­sures that will en­sure the safety of their ci­ti­zens as well as tourists as they pre­pare to re­open their borders in the post-COVID-19 era, Bar­ba­dos Prime Min­is­ter Mia Mot­t­ley said Tues­day.

Mot­t­ley, who is also the chair of the 15-mem­ber re­gional in­te­gra­tion group­ing, told the BBC World Ser­vice that re­gional coun­tries, whose economies are highly de­pen­dent on the tourism in­dus­try, had been se­verely af­fected by the virus that was first de­tected in China last De­cem­ber and blamed for more than 340,000 deaths and 5.5 mil­lion in­fec­tion of oth­ers world­wide.


“We are not go­ing to be driven by a date. We are go­ing to be driven by pro­to­cols that make us safe be­cause we want to re­main safe for our peo­ple; we want to re­main safe for peo­ple who are vis­it­ing us’ and this is not only Bar­ba­dos’ po­si­tion, but a num­ber of coun­tries within the Caribbean Com­mu­nity,’ she said.

Mot­t­ley said the pan­demic had pre­sented a “dif­fi­cult mo­ment” and “we are try­ing to bal­ance lives and liveli­hoods like ev­ery­where else”.

“We are in deep con­ver­sa­tions with each other on a com­mon pub­lic health pro­to­col within the re­gion. We are also hav­ing dis­cus­sions with the air­lines and the cruise in­dus­try, but we are not go­ing to be driven by a date. We are go­ing to be driven by a sat­is­fac­tion that we have safe pro­to­cols that keep our work­ers safe, that keep our peo­ple safe, that keep our vis­i­tors safe,” she said.


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