PM says commercial flight resumption no ‘easy decision’

      PM says commercial flight  resumption no ‘easy decision’

Passengers deplaning on arrival in St. Lucia on an American Airlines flight.


CASTRIES, St. Lucia--Prime Minister (PM) Allen Chastanet says balancing health security and economic activity has been the most challenging decision he has had to make as prime minister.

  Chastanet made the comments in a post on his official Facebook page Friday.

  It was one day after St. Lucia welcomed the first international commercial flight since reopening its borders on June 4.

   “This means that approximately 1,500 tourism workers are now back at work,” Chastanet declared.

  He said it had not been an easy decision, given the success thus far with managing the virus and the trend of increases in some of St. Lucia’s key markets.

  “The challenge of balancing health security and economic activity has been the most challenging decision that I have had to make since becoming prime minister,” Chastanet explained.

  “From day 1, our government has always made the health and safety of the public our main priority, however, we must also keep in mind the plight and suffering of over 20,000 tourism workers and others such as our farmers, fisherfolk and manufacturers who benefit from the activity of the industry,” the PM said.

  In the Facebook post, Chastanet reminded citizens of some of the protocols that “have helped to keep us safe.”

  “Whilst we cannot guarantee that we will not record imported cases of COVID-19, please rest assured that we have worked tediously to implement comprehensive and strict protocols to minimise the threat to the public and these efforts will continue. This includes the requirement that all visitors be tested before traveling to the island [and – Ed.] all visitors go through a new screening process which includes temperature and symptom checks upon arrival. Our tourism and transportation providers have been trained in new COVID-19 protocols and guests will be monitored and checked daily whilst staying at their resort,” he said.

  According to the PM, over the next few days and weeks, the Ministry of Health and Tourism officials will keep providing updates to keep the public informed. ~ St. Lucia Times ~