NIA 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 (NIA) 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, 2020, encouraging residents and potential visitors alike to practice the non-pharmaceutical measures aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.
Speaking at a press conference to launch the campaign, Premier Brantley said the training of over 1500 frontline workers, shoring up health facilities, and the COVID-19 regulations and protocols presently in place, demonstrate that Nevis is indeed 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 free, we are to continue to have an island where we are safe where our people are safe and our visitors coming here know that they are safe, then all of us have to do our part…
“I’m very, very excited about the rollout of this campaign. 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. That for us is the first and most important watchword – safety but we also have to earn, our people also have to eat, and so it is important that we do so and create that necessary balance,” he said.
Noting the devastating impact the economic shutdown brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the Nevis economy, Premier Brantley, who holds responsibility for Finance in the NIA, stressed the importance of resuming tourism activity and getting Nevisians back to work.
“Tourism as we know is the bedrock on which our economy is built here on the island of Nevis. Perhaps more than other islands we depend very heavily on tourism and it is true to say 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 31st has been welcomed news because certainly 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 on our economy, I want our people to understand it’s not only the workers who go to work at our various hotels, it is also our the allied services – the taxi drivers, the tour operators, farmers, the fishers, all these people are impacted, the restaurants, the restaurant workers, and so we can recognize the cascading negative impact of continued closure of our borders. So, I am unabashedly thankful that the borders are reopening,” he said.
The Premier noted that in order 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 assurance has to be given to visitors they hope will come and to persons living at home, that Nevis is a safe destination and that “we are conducting ourselves in a responsible way”.
The health campaign will feature two slogans: “A safe Nevis depends on you”, and “Responsible travel creates healthy destinations”.