Barbados is currently one of the best managed countries in terms of containment in the world.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins, made this assertion during her first day in office.
Cummins was responding to whether Barbados would be producing new messages for tourism in light of COVID-19.
She explained that the tourism sector would be seeking to promote the island as a responsible tourism destination in its new messaging.
She emphasised that in a time when persons are uncomfortable in travelling to other jurisdictions, Barbados had attained a level of containment in addition to low mortality rates of the pandemic within its borders.
“We are practising social distancing; we’re following the protocols; we’re increasing the number of tests; we’re looking at the quarantine and isolation facilities to ensure that we have the capacity to meet the numbers that are coming in.
“We’re working with the airlines and the cruise lines in terms of resumption protocols. That is a responsible destination and that’s what Barbados’ brand also is likely to evolve into while we’re navigating the COVID-19 pandemic challenges,” Ms. Cummins stated.
In response to the question of allaying the fears of Barbadians with regard to the reopening of our borders to tourists, Minister Cummins said: “It’s a complicated thing and we have to be empathetic to people. This is not something that any of us could have prepared for; this is not anything that any of us could have ever contemplated would be part of our reality being lockdown in our homes.
“I think those are real fears and understandable fears and we have to be sympathetic and empathetic to them.”
She continued: “I think there has been this discussion around the balancing of livelihoods and lives and the Ministry of Health team led by Minister Bostic has done an extraordinary job of ensuring that they are protecting lives, while protecting livelihoods.”
Senator Cummins stressed that Government takes seriously the matter of addressing the balance between lives and livelihoods, and that there has to be confidence in the Ministry of Health, and in medical officials who have brought us this far successfully to do everything that they could to keep Barbadians safe.