“The Chamber supports Government’s cautious approach to date, but it is now time to implement a plan and firm up a timeline to reopen to stayover visitors since many member businesses associated with the tourism sector are struggling to survive.”
(CMR) President of the Chamber of Commerce Woody Foster said with businesses in the tourism sector struggling to survive, it is time to implement a plan and to have a firm timeline to reopen to stayover visitors.
“The Chamber supports Government’s cautious approach to date, but it is now time to implement a plan and firm up a timeline to reopen to stayover visitors since many member businesses associated with the tourism sector are struggling to survive,” Foster said.
Acknowledging that vaccination was crucial to the reopening of the Cayman Islands borders, Foster urged members and employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available to them. Foster said,
“Vaccination is one of the main ways to protect our residents and businesses to reduce the possibility of community spread once our borders are reopened.”
The Chamber Council said they were prepared to be vaccinated as soon as the vaccine becomes available. Foster urged member businesses that interact with the public to do likewise.
“Vaccination is not mandated and is being administered voluntarily. We have been informed that unless a significant number of the local population receives the vaccine, it will be difficult to reopen our borders safely. The Chamber urges all residents who have no underlying medical conditions to take the vaccine so we can get our economy back on track,” he said.
Foster commended the Government, the Health Services Authority (HSA), and the Governor’s office for obtaining the Pfizer vaccine and administering it at a fast pace.
He said, “Being the first Overseas Territory to receive and administer the vaccine is an amazing accomplishment. It is encouraging that more than 1,000 persons were vaccinated by Public Health last week.”
A recent Chamber survey showed that 69% of respondents supported reopening the borders to overnight visitors under strict protocols, including testing and quarantine, and administering a vaccine when Public Health agencies approved it for distribution.
The country's vaccination program started last Friday, with people 70 and older receiving the vaccine.
The vaccine is also now being given to residents and staff of institutional facilities, healthcare workers and first responders, and frontline staff dealing with incoming travelers.