Press conference hosted by Minister of Health and Wellness, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic. (PMO)

Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins, is encouraging the public to report any occurrence of breaches of the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ COVID-19 protocols.

Minister Cummins made this plea during a press conference held at Ilaro Court last evening. 

“If you are concerned that a person who is on property is not wearing a mask, if you are concerned that a person who you know is in quarantine and is on property and is engaging in activity that they ought not to be, say something,” she advised

In addition, the Minister noted that persons must see reporting such acts as their role and duty “because we have a collective responsibility to keep our country and our people safe”.

Senator Cummins stated that the Ministries of Health and Tourism and the Barbados Hotel Tourism Association, as well as the COVID-19 Monitoring Unit, led by Mr Ronald Chapman, have been going over what is required of properties housing visitors, especially those offering quarantine facilities, in an effort to ensure compliance by visitors.

“We are very confident that the Ministry of Health is going to ensure, through its COVID-19 Monitoring Unit, and through its enforcement mechanisms that the protocols are complied with…[and] has not failed to act when warranted,” Minister Cummins assured.

Turning to the issue of accommodation being seen as too pricey, she stated that on average, Barbados was receiving between 400 and 3000 visitors to the island daily, and hotel rates for the most part were heavily discounted. 

“You would have most of the hotels who are charging at a rate that is sometimes in some instances 40 to 50 per cent below their normal rate, and that is very much in keeping with what we’re seeing across the industry in terms of tourism with hotels.”

Senator Cummins also reminded the public that many of the properties in the hotel sector had not earned any revenue for a total of 10 months, and Government had been calling on most of the hoteliers to reopen their properties to business, and to ensure that they reengage their workers. 

She said there has to be a balance struck between what is a reasonable cost for a hotel or for any business to operate.

She added that across Barbados all categories in the hotel industry, both in the budget category and in the luxury high class, A-class hotels, rates are heavily discounted, and there is a wide range of options for persons at budget level to make a responsible choice for their accommodation while staying on the island. 

sheena.forde-craigg@barbados.gov.bb

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