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Level 4 travel advisory a cause for concern

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Entornointeligente.com / Search form Search Main menu Home News Business Sports Columns Contact Us E-Paper Senator Rudy Grant, Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association.

Level 4 travel advisory a cause for concern Fri, 04/23/2021 – 5:00am Whilst the recent Level-4 travel advisory issued by the United States Department of State against Barbados has been described as cause for concern, especially given that the tourism sector is preparing to welcome visitors again, a key tourism official maintains that there has been good management of the COVID-19 pandemic in Barbados.

The United States Department of State recently updated its travel advisories to Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, advising US citizens not to travel to these Caribbean countries, citing ongoing risks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senator Rudy Grant, Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA), recently had his say on this matter.

“While it is certainly of concern and something that we have to pay attention to, it is happening at a time when the level of visitor arrivals and the activity within the tourism sector has been significantly reduced, and I’m very confident that the BTMI (Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be the ones as the competent entities to deal with this issue,” Senator Grant remarked.

He added, “If we reflect on the reports that we’ve been receiving from the Ministry of Health and Wellness, those reports suggest that the number of infections are being reduced, as well as the infection rate. In fact, when I looked at the number of persons who yesterday would have been tested and those that were positive, the rate was less than 1%, and certainly we are moving in the right direction where the percentage of persons actually contracting the virus is significantly below the 5% that I’m told is the international standard”.

“So yes, the advisory is cause for concern, particularly in an environment where it can clearly be demonstrated that the actions that were undertaken by the Ministry of Health and Wellness has resulted in the infection rate being significantly reduced and happening at a time when we have that positive result. So it would be of concern. Of course, it does however require us to continue practising social distancing, physical washing of our our hands, ensuring that we engage in all of the correct practices, particularly at a time when we’re looking to reopen the sector; or I should say at a time when we’re looking to encourage more visitors to come to the Barbados,” Grant further commented.

He maintained, “…I think there are measures that have been instituted to demonstrate that there’s been good and proper management of the COVID-19 (situation in Barbados).”

Grant meanwhile acknowledged that Barbados is in a situation where the occupancy in hotels is significantly less than what it was, compared with performances during the months of January, February and March of 2020.

Pointing out that a new set of travel protocols are being put in place for May 8, when the country expects to see international travel coming back, he however stressed that in general, visitor arrivals will likely be very dependent on what is taking place in the island’s source markets.

LINK ORIGINAL: Barbados Advocate

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