CHARLESTOWN, Nevis — As the October 31, 2020 date for the re-opening of the Federation’s borders approaches, Nevis Premier Hon. Mark Brantley, Minister of Tourism and Senior Minister of Health in the Nevis Island Administration, is giving the assurance that Nevis is prepared and ready to welcome back international visitors.
The Ministry of Health and Nevis Tourism Authority launched a joint health and tourism sensitization campaign “Today4Tomorrow” on October 13, encouraging residents and potential visitors alike to practice non-pharmaceutical measures aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.
The health campaign will feature two slogans: “A safe Nevis depends on you”, and “Responsible travel creates healthy destinations.”
Speaking at a press conference to launch the campaign, Premier Brantley said the training of over 1,500 frontline workers, shoring up health facilities, and the COVID-19 regulations and protocols presently in place, demonstrate that Nevis is ready to welcome nationals and visitors back to the island.
He expressed excitement about the newly launched campaign.
“Today4tomorrow is really an excellent tagline, because it reminds us that what we do today is going to impact our success or failure tomorrow; and it reminds us to continue to do simple things.
“If we are to keep our island COVID-19 free, we will continue to have an island where we are safe, where our people are safe, and visitors coming here know they are safe, then all of us have to do our part.
“I’m very excited about the rollout of this campaign,” said Brantley. “I’m very excited to see all that’s in store as we try of course to ensure that Nevis remains on the cutting edge of safety. For us, that is the first and most important watchword – safety. We have to earn, our people have to eat. It is important that we do so and create that necessary balance.”
The Premiere noted the devastating impact the economic shutdown brought on by the COVID-19 Pandemic has had on the Nevis economy. He stressed the importance of resuming tourism activity and getting Nevisians back to work.
“Tourism is the bedrock on which our economy is built on Nevis,” continued Brantley. “Perhaps more than other islands, we depend heavily on tourism. It true that since maybe late February but certainly by late March, our industry has come to a halt. The news of the reopening of our borders on October 31 has been welcome news. With the borders remaining closed and our hotel remaining closed it means that thousands of our people are out of work.
“When I point to the devastating impact of COVID-19 on our economy, I want our people to understand it’s not only the workers who work at our various hotels,” said Brantley. It is also our allied services, taxi drivers, tour operators, farmers, fishers; all these people are impacted. Restaurants and restaurant workers are also impacted. We can recognize the cascading negative impact of continued closure of our borders. I am unabashedly thankful that the borders are reopening.”
The Premier noted that to get out of the economic crisis caused by COVID-19, the government and people have to work together to ensure the reopening process is conducted in a responsible way.
He said assurances have to be given to visitors that hope will come. Persons living at home have to be assured that Nevis is a safe destination and that “we are conducting ourselves in a responsible way.”