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Opposition Leader slams Gov't’s reopening protocols as ‘impractical’

Opposition Leader Honourable Marlon A. Penn (R8) has labelled the recently released protocols for reopening of the Virgin Islands to tourists as impractical. Photo: Facebook
Opposition Leader, Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) says that contrary to what Premier Andrew A. Fahie (R1), in photo, has said, the Government has not consulted enough with the people regarding the best possible way to reopen the territory to international visitors. Photo: facebook/File
Opposition Leader, Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) says that contrary to what Premier Andrew A. Fahie (R1), in photo, has said, the Government has not consulted enough with the people regarding the best possible way to reopen the territory to international visitors. Photo: facebook/File
The Virgin Islands will begin to receive international visitors from December 1, 2020. Photo: VINO/File
The Virgin Islands will begin to receive international visitors from December 1, 2020. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Opposition Leader Honourable Marlon A. Penn (R8) has labelled the recently released protocols for reopening of the Virgin Islands to tourists as impractical.

Hon Penn said the protocols are not impressive and do not take the plight of the people into consideration.

“There is clearly not a strategy in moving the economy again. We got a set of protocols that are impractical, in terms of its financial implications for the people of this territory. It brought straight home a lack of vision, a lack of ineptness, a lack of understanding of the tourism economy in particular, and the continuous blame game,” he said during a press conference on Wednesday, October 28, 2020.

“It is creating some uneasiness not only for us as an Opposition but for many persons in this territory, persons who have been unemployed since March. We got several calls from persons from the sister islands in particular concerning the concerns of their livelihoods. We have gotten calls from the stakeholders from Anegada, Jost van Dyke and in Virgin Gorda concerning the protocols that were put out there,” he stated.

Lack of consultation is clear

The Opposition Leader further mentioned that the protocols do not reflect one that has been on the table for months.

“After eight months of waiting, we have a set of protocols that came out that created more disturbance in the tourism space, created the issue of cancellations. We got word that upwards of 80 per cent of cancellations within the first week, particularly in the marine industry,” Penn pointed out.

He added: “And, more importantly, the lack of stakeholders involvement in the process. If there were were consultations with the industry we would not have seen the fall out as it relates to the cancellations and the dialogue that is taking place right now on social media, on the travel blog sites concerning our territory. In terms of the impracticality as well, we look at the economic fall out for us as a territory we waited for eight months after agitating to pull out our plan, to outline clearly an approach we thought was workable.”

He stated that they had consultations with the business community and the information coming from them indicates that the government “in true form has not engaged the public, has not engaged the stakeholders on the protocols that were waited for, for eight months and I heard since Monday that they were developed since March. I would never call the Premier a liar, but I will just say I don’t believe that.”

He continued: “Because I cannot understand that since March you had protocols and a plan in place that we are now at the 11th hour, a month before the opening and we are yet to see a clear, cohesive plan. The government has shown its ineptness or their lack of understanding for the tourism industry. We need to change course drastically, specifically in light of the protocols that have been outlined.”

55 Responses to “Opposition Leader slams Gov't’s reopening protocols as ‘impractical’”

  • Boyyy (29/10/2020, 08:08) Like (34) Dislike (35) Reply

    Marlon shut your trap and save your m*******

    • Yessah (29/10/2020, 09:34) Like (14) Dislike (43) Reply
      That lady from national bank don’t want him
    • now (29/10/2020, 09:39) Like (42) Dislike (24) Reply
      Government need just open the whole damn place, schools everything it’s almost been a whole year
    • Seriously (29/10/2020, 11:26) Like (19) Dislike (4) Reply
      What is his and his opposition side plans?? We haven’t heard nothing from them yet.. Aren’t they to apart of the Government ??? Set of incompetent people.. They look like they want to remain on the opposition side for another 4 Years.. so glad alvera jumped sides from around them momos.. shame on Julian fraser for not speaking up and coming out with a plan too..
    • I’m dead (29/10/2020, 11:27) Like (25) Dislike (2) Reply
      You ain’t see Marlon getting big he always twice the size pass the premier
    • Fuquit (29/10/2020, 19:27) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      He can't help it. He seriously said "It brought straight home a lack of vision, a lack of ineptness.." So he wants there to be MORE ineptness in the governance of BVI? What a muppet.
  • District 8 (29/10/2020, 08:09) Like (31) Dislike (22) Reply
    You will never be premier of these Virgin Islands
  • ndp (29/10/2020, 08:10) Like (54) Dislike (12) Reply
    I’m not a vip supporter but you have to admit this is the most outgoing work any government in the history of the VI had to ever deal with. Let’s just be patient.
    • Honestly (29/10/2020, 11:27) Like (24) Dislike (0) Reply
      Feel bad for the government they can’t even fulfil their promises because of the pandemic were in.
  • Frett (29/10/2020, 08:11) Like (46) Dislike (13) Reply
    Minister penn worry about the dirty sewage water on the roads in your district and then island people that loitering outside fine food having the place so ghetto drinking all day, no social distancing nothing.
    • @ frett (29/10/2020, 09:04) Like (32) Dislike (4) Reply
      Not only In his district is everywhere them island people find a little place to sit all of them go and loiter the bvi need a cleaning and fixing internally before trying to open internationally
    • @ frett (29/10/2020, 09:24) Like (20) Dislike (2) Reply
      For real. The roads in East end are so terrible. Focus on cleaning up your district seeing this is the first part of the island tourist will see when they arrive... and I mean East end not beef island . Not to mention sewage. Can you imagine this dude being premier??? Lord send help!
    • Peaches (29/10/2020, 10:42) Like (9) Dislike (11) Reply
      @Frett first of all, that is not Marlon's district. The management of Riteway Supermarkets is the ones who you should write to concerning the loitering. It is a shame that Riteway Supermarkets allow this kind of behavior going on for years. There must be some reason why they are allowing it, but it is very distasteful. Shame on them!
    • Foolish (29/10/2020, 15:40) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
      shut up.. firstly, by fine food not his district.. and before you run your mouth on island people even though I am not a island person check you self and your home.. Do you see all the young boys from here smoking and drinking.. you'll quick to talk about island people and them is who build our country.. strupsssss
  • Strupes (29/10/2020, 08:13) Like (17) Dislike (5) Reply
    So right. I don’t know why the government following what them down island islands doing we need to take a page out of our family island USVI’s book:
  • lol (29/10/2020, 08:13) Like (16) Dislike (11) Reply

    Smurf need try save his m******* from harassing the vip government

    • Peaches (29/10/2020, 13:15) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      @lol what is wrong with his m*******? He just got married a year or two ago.
      • Forward ever Backward never (29/10/2020, 15:48) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        Is this what the BVI coming to now? Politicizing people personal and private life? People please stick to the issues. Marlon private life is no body's business.
      • Have some morals (29/10/2020, 18:23) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        If you want to roast/call out Marlon, fine but, don’t go after his Wife. She has nothing to do with this. In the Political world, Wives and kids is off limits. You leave them alone.
  • OK Then (29/10/2020, 08:21) Like (16) Dislike (5) Reply
    You present the strategy for moving forward the economy and 'show up' the Government. Let us see the opposition plan. And if there is none, let's see your plan. Tada ...
  • Hmm (29/10/2020, 08:24) Like (28) Dislike (64) Reply
    The VIP WIll be Dead Next Election watch and seeee!!!!!!!
    • To hmm (29/10/2020, 09:39) Like (16) Dislike (12) Reply
      No they will not.. Vip for the win
      • Mr . Opposition.. (29/10/2020, 11:07) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        What is you all plan. Did you All propose, suggest or put an open borders plan forward....We all agree that the VIP plan is a disaster,l. We would like to see what you all have or what you all put forward . Can't just criticize tell us what would you do differently..
    • @ Hmm (29/10/2020, 09:39) Like (13) Dislike (3) Reply
      Yeah with smurf as premier and funny man as deputy boss keep dreaming NOT GOING TO HAPPEN
  • pat (29/10/2020, 08:29) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
    blah blah blah blah NEXT!
  • talk (29/10/2020, 08:30) Like (45) Dislike (3) Reply
    tell us what you would have done better
  • nO TRUE (29/10/2020, 08:34) Like (18) Dislike (8) Reply
    If you think the BVI plan is bad then yo I should see st kitts and Nevis plan. Stop trying to be relevant Penn! Compare to others not impractical at all.
  • Wicked times (29/10/2020, 08:51) Like (14) Dislike (3) Reply
    Y’all sell us out that’s all, ain’t picking no sides all y’all sold us out to this Bill Gates agenda to destroy our country’s economic structure
  • Tourism Man (29/10/2020, 09:01) Like (10) Dislike (3) Reply
    None of these people don't know what they are talking about. Does the BVI People ready and check to see what is happening all over the world. It is bad. Covid is just getting started. Be careful for what you wish for. People will die , i can promise you that.
  • An ju (29/10/2020, 09:09) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    That man just following CDC guidelines like them ain’t cover up china having the virus from months and downplayed the situation,real follower sah
  • vi (29/10/2020, 09:28) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Nonesense people must pay to come put money in we pocket
  • @ tourist man (29/10/2020, 09:28) Like (9) Dislike (4) Reply
    Exactly . They have no idea. Because they are not affected by deaths . But let them keep pushing and bashing the gov for trying to keep us safe. Ignorant is what they are. I didn’t know our people were so ignorant. Hmmm
  • Dwine (29/10/2020, 09:29) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    If we follow Honorable Marlon and more people die, what next? Will we be able to hold him accountable?
  • A VOTER IN #6 (29/10/2020, 09:33) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    CAN SOMEONE TELL ME CAN WE GO TO ST THOMAS FOR A DAY AND RETURN THE SAME DAY?
    • U can (29/10/2020, 16:30) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Of course. Just go take your $135 test. Pray you pass. Apply to come back in. Leave through beef island. Come back through beef island and quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. What’s the problem?
  • Irresponsible (29/10/2020, 09:37) Like (12) Dislike (4) Reply
    Hon Penn and the Opposition for political points are being very irresponsible. Do you people see what’s going on around the world? Countries opened up and now right back to square one now with more cases. Hon Penn you think the hospital can handle an outbreak? Don’t you see now that most Caribbean countries are taking similar steps to those BVI are taking. Don’t you see what is happening to those countries who are trying to please the businesses. We have to open responsibly and if we have a United voice that we are trying to look out for the safety of all - tourists will understand. But this type of political nonsense is pointless if you really care.
    • @Irresponsible (29/10/2020, 10:06) Like (2) Dislike (8) Reply
      Don't worry, in a few months you all will be crying to the same opposition and others to get this govt out when you are starving. Notice that all the VIP does is sell fear but they have yet to tell us the true financial standing of the Territory and if we can withstand all these restrictions. There must be a balance between health/safety and keeping the economy going. Nobody is saying swing the doors wide open and let people do what they want, but any plan must make sense and this one does not make sense. These guys have proven to be totally incompetent! Not only that the protocols are nonsense but their lack of communication is even worst. 4 weeks away from opening and we do not even have a dedicated website for persons to find information. Locals/Belongers here and abroad have no idea what they need to do in order to travel to or from their own country. Who is really irresponsible? You better take off the tinfoil hat and stop letting this fear mongering clog your brain cells. People get sick and die everyday, that is life and no government can stop that! You can never get in an accident if you stop driving forever, so you will stay home forever as a result?
  • i from here (29/10/2020, 09:40) Like (15) Dislike (2) Reply
    We still have confidence in the vip government 4 more years
  • hell (29/10/2020, 10:03) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply

    WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH MARLON WHAT HE EXPECT THE GOVERNMEBT TO DO THEY ARE DOING THE BEST THAT THEY CAN DO, IT IS THE SAME THING IN OTHER CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES THEY HAVE TO WAIT TILL THEY GET A CLEAN BREAK TO DO ANY THING, MARLON YOU SICK IN YOUR HEAD HAVE YOU GIVEN OUTTHE MONEY THAT WAS GIVEN TO TOU TO GIVE OUT. PEOPLE IN THE EAST NEED HELP AND ALL YOU TALKING IS A VACK OF SH**. YOU NEED TO TALK ABOUT PEOPLE SUFFERING ESPECIALL WITH THE BOUGUS WATER BILLS, WARER GONE FOR DAYS AND YOU STILL GETTING VERY HIGH WATER BILLS AND WATWER AND SEWRAGE IS TELLING PEOPLE THAT YOU HAVE TO PAY ALL THE BILL OR YOU CANNOT BE RE CONNECTED. COVID IS COVID BUT THE FOOLINESISH WHAT IS GOING ON IB THE BVI HAS TO STOP YOU NEED TO DO A SURVEY FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE SEVENTH DISTRICT AND ALSO IN THE 8 DISTRICT AND SEE THE NEEDS OF PEOPLE WATER AND SEWRAGE WANT SOME ONE WHO KNOW THE TECHNICAL SIDE OF THINGS AND A GOOD BILL SYSTEM FOR THE RESIDENTS OF THE COUNTRY, THESE HEFTY BILLSARE A KILLER TO PERSONS THE DEPARTMENT NEEDS TO DO A GOOD RATE SYSTEM FOR THE USE OF WATER. LEAVE THE GOVERNMENT ALONE IF THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT DOING RIGHT THEY WILL FALL ON THEIR HEAD YOU NEED TO FOCUS MORE ON THE ISSUES PEOPLE HAS CLEAN UP SOME PROBLEMS FACE IN THIS PLACE,

  • Time for the Governor to take over (29/10/2020, 10:28) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    It has become apparent to all that this government is extremely green behind the ears. Too many review, changes and uncertainties upon almost every decision made. This government has shown that they can not tackle tough issues. They have shown by their ineptitude that they gave no plan. But they want to carry the island into independence. It is time for the Governor to take us out of the indecisive waters. Captain the ship is sinking. Please Govenor if you save bvi God will save the queen.
  • M.I.A (29/10/2020, 10:33) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Where was mark? I saw him at the ground breaking ceremonies that the vip had
  • History will absolve our Premier (29/10/2020, 10:34) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    Keep on doing your best Hon. Premier. As Fidel Castro had said, "...history will absolve me". Yes, Premier history will absolve you. They accused Fidel of wrondoing while he was lifting up the country. They will accuse you of much wrong but history will absolve you. To God be the glory!
  • Crazier day by day (29/10/2020, 10:57) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    So, The opposition is saying that they had no input, that they had no idea of this plan and the details, ? .Common sense will tell me that the first people government should run their plan by is the opposition before they bring it to the people..If they really didnt know,,,, this government and it leader are dictators...
  • facts (29/10/2020, 11:20) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    After 8 months of bashing where is smurf plan set of zero playing hero
  • Decide/Risk/taken (29/10/2020, 11:47) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    As some one who is interesting in Visitsing the currently measures makes that extremely difficult and unlikely!!!!
    • tretretrete (30/10/2020, 12:13) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Stay your COVID behind where you is, we don’t need you here, or you just home right here trying looking points,
  • my 2 cents (29/10/2020, 12:28) Like (1) Dislike (5) Reply
    I used to back to looking for men for what they been doing but right now this is b******* killing the people of the Virgin islands we need to open without restrictions
  • Hmmmmm (29/10/2020, 17:14) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    no true did you see or read the st.kitts and nevis if not be quite i dont understand how u can compare it too the bvi

    st.kitts and nevis/

    up to 2 tests

    quarantine 7 days

    cost/single -100

    cost/double -200

    cost/family 4 -400


    bvi

    test 3


    quarantine 4


    cost/single-500

    cost/couple-1000

    cost/family 4 -2000

    still don't see why u think the bvi one is better
  • Servant of the Most High God (29/10/2020, 19:10) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    CEASE FIRE, PLEASE! HELP TO LIFT UP, NOT PULL DOWN. Get bact to the negociation table. With GOD in our midst. and love in our hearts. Nothing is too hard for the Almighty to do for our good, if we embraced His leadership. Get this: The only people the win a quarrel are those that refuse to quarrel. Help our Government leaders, not condemn then for trying.
  • rattie (29/10/2020, 19:47) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    VIP is bad with this opening thing but for sure we DO NOT WANT BACK THE NDP
  • Really Mr Penn!! (31/10/2020, 02:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I get it that your’re the opposition......however how are you helping, and advancing the BVI ?! What is your daily schedule besides comin on VINO and just stating the negatives?! Somebody need to stop cutting u a check because u do absolutely nothing .......


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