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The need for vaccine mandates

Across the world, countries have had to put in Covid-19 mandates to stem the rate of infections.

As a prime example, in Paris persons cannot dine indoors unless they have proof of vaccination or a recent negative test.

Canada has mandated that it will now accept only vaccinated visitors into the country.

Small islands, big challenges

In the British Overseas Territories, we, too, have had to put in mandates.

With vaccination levels varying from 30 per cent in Montserrat to 75 per cent in the Cayman Islands, the OTs are ahead of most other Caribbean islands in immunisation rates.

However, even with relatively high vaccination rates, there have been recent outbreaks in the OTs.

Therefore, respective governments have had to implement somewhat unpopular measures in order to stem the tide of infections.

These measure differ from island to island:

• Some have night-time curfews

• Some have restrictions on who can enter the island

• Some have restrictions on indoor events and dining

Island hopping

Here is a quick glance of the key mitigation measures employed in each island.

Anguilla

• 60 per cent of population immunised

• Only vaccinated visitors allowed

• No curfew

Bermuda

• 65 per cent of population immunised

• Non-immunised travellers must quarantine for 14 days

• Confirmation of vaccination or negative test required for indoor dining or events

• No curfew

Cayman Islands

• 70 per cent of population immunised

• No visitors allowed until October

• No curfew

Montserrat

• 30 per cent of population immunised

Turks & Caicos Islands

• 60 of population immunised

• Only vaccinated visitors allowed

• Non-vaccinated locals must quarantine for seven days

• Only vaccinated locals allowed in bars and restaurants

• All work-permit holders must be vaccinated

• Curfew 1am to 5am

British Virgin Islands

• 45 per cent of population immunised

• Non-immunised persons must quarantine for seven days

• Curfew 11pm to 5am

Living with Covid-19

The unfortunate reality is that in order to prevent mass hospital admissions, death and potential lockdowns, these mandates have to be adhered to.

Each of the islands have large proportions of their population who are dependent on the tourism industry.

With rising numbers of persons being infected with Covid-19, it has a domino effect on visitor bookings.

Subsequently, lower tourist arrivals equates to lower economic activity.

This in turn leads to governments having to subsidise the living costs of those hospitality workers now displaced.

Then there comes the knock--on effect on government surpluses, if any, and potential increases in taxes.

Suffice it to say that we are not getting rid of Covid-19 anytime soon.

Each government, following science, will put in place the mandates that are needed. It is incumbent on both visitors and locals to adhere to them.

It truly is a matter a life over death.

Christopher Famous is the government MP for Devonshire East (Constituency 11). You can reach him on WhatsApp at 599-0901 or e-mail at carib_pro@yahoo.com

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Published September 03, 2021 at 8:08 am (Updated September 03, 2021 at 8:08 am)

The need for vaccine mandates

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