OWNER and Executive Chef of the Seahorse Inn Restaurant and Bar in Tobago, Nicholas Hardwicke, agrees with the Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley, and his announced measures to have officials vaccinated by mid-January.
During the Covid-19 press conference on December 18, Rowley announced that the government has decided to make the civil service, statutory authorities and state enterprises ‘safe zones’, forcing employees, who are paid by the state, to be vaccinated.
“We have come to the point where the government will have to take certain measures,” said the Prime Minister.
“I have had lengthy discussions with the Attorney General and his support team in his ministry and his advisers outside, and we will now move to a situation where we will insist that the people of Trinidad and Tobago recognize government policy that vaccination is our best way to deal with the carrier of death and destruction.
“But we’ll try to make it as enjoyable as possible. We will try to encourage and increase the level of vaccination.
“As the government is the largest employer of labor, the workplace of government will change,” said the Prime Minister.
Hardwicke called the measure too late.
“I think this is a logical step for him and it makes sense because a lot of the private sector is operating in safe zone mode,” Hardwicke said.
He said that if the country wants to achieve a level of normality in the future, then the measures announced by the Prime Minister must be taken.
“Vaccination is clearly the way forward to put an end to the most restrictive side of this pandemic, in terms of social behavior and life, and we must make a better effort to achieve vaccination levels with the population,” said said Hardwicke.
During the press conference, the Prime Minister also announced that the country’s beaches would be reopened from 5 a.m. to noon.
“We said a while ago that we would consider the therapeutic nature of beach visits, and I want to keep that promise,” Rowley said, adding, “It will be done without the presence of alcohol on any beach. It is forbidden to consume alcohol on a public beach during this time.There must not be loud music and there must not be parties.
The hotelier, who declared that all his staff is vaccinated, also congratulated the Prime Minister, for having kept his word on the reopening of the beaches.
“I am happy that we are taking a step in the right direction. Clearly, it remains to be seen what kind of positive impact this would have in the hospitality industry, as practically in Tobago where beaches are an important component of our product offerings.
Also in agreement with the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Chamber of Business of Tobago, Martin George, calls on him to go one step further.
“We ask that officials join the initiative of the Prime Minister and we ask the Government to also look into the issue of people who have access to these offices which are staffed with officials to be vaccinated, c ‘that is, members of the public, “says Georges.
He also cautioned beach goers. “We also call on those who must use the beaches to do so responsibly, to exercise restraint, to adhere to times and restrictions,” said Martin George.
George is also calling for additional flights on the overhead bridge to facilitate increased arrivals in Tobago. “Adequate seats at the airport are also needed, people waiting and waiting for flights wait for hours without proper seats, and that’s not good for an international airport.”