(CMC) – Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries will adopt measures that will ensure the safety of their citizens as well as tourists as they prepare to reopen their borders in the post-COVID-19 era, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley said Tuesday.
Mottley, who is also the chair of the 15-member regional integration grouping, told the BBC World Service that regional countries, whose economies are highly dependent on the tourism industry, had been severely affected by the virus that was first detected in China last December and blamed for more than 340,000 deaths and 5.5 million infection of others worldwide.
DRIVEN BY PROTOCOLS
“We are not going to be driven by a date. We are going to be driven by protocols that make us safe because we want to remain safe for our people; we want to remain safe for people who are visiting us? and this is not only Barbados? position, but a number of countries within the Caribbean Community,” she said.
Mottley said the pandemic had presented a ‘difficult moment’ and ?we are trying to balance lives and livelihoods like everywhere else?.
“We are in deep conversations with each other on a common public health protocol within the region. We are also having discussions with the airlines and the cruise industry, but we are not going to be driven by a date. We are going to be driven by a satisfaction that we have safe protocols that keep our workers safe, that keep our people safe, that keep our visitors safe,” she said.