At least one tour operator believes that the Premier’s message of vaccinate or be left behind when cruise ships return to the Territory is merely a scare tactic.
Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie has stated that cruise passengers have indicated that they would prefer to interact with persons in the industry who have taken their COVID-19 jabs.
However, Julio ‘Sam’ Henry Told BVI Platinum News on Monday, May 3 that he does not believe that vaccination is necessary to open up the economy, to travel and to do business.
“Don’t mind the scare tactics that they are pushing,” Henry stated.
He added, “We don’t know where the Premier is getting that information from. There are a number of ships that are requiring full vaccination of their customers, but at the same time, the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) just issued a newly revised cruise policy, and I think we need to pay attention to it.
According to Henry, by July, the BVI is going to get persons on ships who have either tested negatively, have COVID-19 already, or a mixture of persons who are vaccinated.
“So yes, there are some ships pushing that, but at the end of the day you have to look at the market, in this cruise ships, these operators on these cruise ships fully well know that there are a number of persons, their customers, potential customers who are not going to vaccinate, but are going to be looking to cruise and they are going to find ways to facilitate them. So, in the end, we are going to get ships in here where passengers are not fully vaccinated,” he reasoned.
Premier Fahie said in March, “They [cruise lines] have asked already that they would strongly prefer to only go to those stores where the employees are vaccinated, and they have also stated that they will strongly be leaning towards taxi operators who are vaccinated.”
When asked if local taxi operators are getting vaccinated, Henry replied, “No, nobody ain’t running to get no vaccine, to take a poison that is unproven and so forth.”
Nonetheless, Henry explained that the matter also stems from a combination of reasons.
“The BVI has a lot of people with a lot of issues, and those are the number one factors why most people are not running to get this vaccine. They just don’t trust the science, they don’t trust the information that is coming out, and we see again and again California and other states where there are more and more cases of persons who are fully vaccinated are taking sick and dying, and when you look at the same people who are dying again, it’s the underlying health conditions.”
He added, “So people are looking at all these things, and the government is trying to bamboozle people and fool people and not be honest with people. So, a lot of people have underlying health issues, and they don’t want to take the chance.”