Question of the day: Do we open to the USA or not on July 1st, 2020?

Question of the day: Do we open to the USA or not on July 1st, 2020?

Dear editor,

In my opinion this one isn't a difficult question to answer when you can support the consequences of the answer as we all know in our hearts what the answer should be.

  Our country is cash strapped and presently I don't see much more funds coming into the country from any donor or lender just like that anymore. Effective July 2020, the Netherlands will start the capital expense projects/programmes through at present a still unknown entity, but not one statement thus far that says payroll support etc. will continue through the entity moving forward.

  So depending really on which side of the fence you are the answers are quite different and emotionally charged. For those that have some sort of income, savings etc. from which they can survive for a while longer, the answer I believe is keep the place locked down for American tourists untill we have a better grip on the USA virus spread.

  When you have no savings or income and you are completely dependent on financial support from a third party or work the answer is much more complex. Get sick and survive or starve as food isn't being shared anymore as before either. That too dried up. The picture is grim and I hate that we are placing persons in these positions. I personally do not believe we are ready to handle American tourists but then again I have an income presently so I do belong to the group that will normally say don't open.

  I do believe though that we should also look at the region for tourists but more so for the experiences they are having with the American flow of tourists. Antigua is now being confronted with tourists taking legal actions against the government regarding testing and quarantining. We need to be very cautious that we don't harm ourselves more than we help ourselves.

  Lastly, I'm extremely disappointed that the public meeting scheduled for today in Parliament at 10.00 am to discuss this so important yet extremely secretive opening with its protocols and all its safeguards is postponed last minute for a walk through of the TEATT committee at the Airport. I just don't get it.

  Nevertheless, I'm sure when the pressure mounts properly there will be an urgent (oops this was already an urgent meeting), lets say a SUPER urgent meeting to discuss the matter. One love.


Claudius A. Buncamper

Member of Parliament of Sint Maarten