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VI must find safer ways for tourism businesses to operate– Hon Penn

- says calls are not to be irresponsible but to encourage safe & creative means for businesses to operate
Leader of the Opposition, Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) has sounded calls for tourism business in the VI, especially those in the sister islands to be able to operate in a safe matter and allow livelihoods to thrive. Photo: VINO/File
Bars in the Virgin Islands have been ordered closed due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. Photo: Internet Source
Bars in the Virgin Islands have been ordered closed due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. Photo: Internet Source
Restaurants in the Virgin Islands have been restricted to takeout service only. Photo: Internet Source
Restaurants in the Virgin Islands have been restricted to takeout service only. Photo: Internet Source
According to the Opposition Leader, the way forward is working on different tangents to find a balance with businesses operating and staying safe. Photo: Internet Source
According to the Opposition Leader, the way forward is working on different tangents to find a balance with businesses operating and staying safe. Photo: Internet Source
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Leader of the Opposition, Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) has said the Virgin Islands must find a way to make tourism businesses, especially those in the sister islands, operational in a safe matter and allow livelihoods to thrive.

Hon Penn made the calls during the July 28, 2021, edition of JTV’s the Big Story hosted by Cathy O. Richards and available on Facebook.

VI tourism sector hit hardest in pandemic - Hon Penn 

According to the Opposition Leader, “I sympathise with the tourism industry in particular because they have been the ones who have been hit the hardest due to COVID-19 in terms of their industry and their livelihood and their way of life,” he said.

Hon Penn said he understands that while some business considerations had to be made due to a surge of COVID-19 cases in the VI and the following of health protocols, ways can be devised for businesses to operate in a safe environment.

“But we also have to look at ways where we could continue to stay safe, keep our businesses safe or citizens safe and operate in a way, a safer way where our livelihood can continue.”

According to the Opposition Leader, the way forward is working on different tangents to find a balance with businesses operating and staying safe.   

He said for example on the sister islands, tourists continue to flock to the islands however, they have nothing much to do.  

Safe & creative procedure needed - Hon Penn 

 “I am in no way asking to be irresponsible in the way that we protect ourselves and our lives from COVID-19 but we have to also understand that we have to find a way to live with COVID-19 and it means for us we coming up with safe and creative procedures so for people to continue their livelihoods.”

Hon Penn called on businesses to respect the protocols and not just agree for the sake of their business to be allowed to operate only to break the rules again.

“My heart bleeds for the sister islands…  from last year when we have been talking about this issue, I continue to say that we have to find a way to get some support to the sister islands more than ever because they in particular are the ones who are hurting because of their dependence on tourism,” he said while calling for tourism in general across the VI to be allowed to operate safely.

Currently, restaurants are only allowed to offer takeout services and bars have been ordered closed. Further, there is a 7:00pm to 5:00am curfew in the territory.

16 Responses to “VI must find safer ways for tourism businesses to operate– Hon Penn ”

  • Hon. Penn (05/08/2021, 14:20) Like (21) Dislike (2) Reply
    All sounds well; but where are your humble suggestions in the smoke you are here blowing? Other industries like salons and gyms are suffering as well. What do you suggest? The mayor of NY just ordered only vaccinated persons are allowed to dine in restaurants and other recreations such as gyms. It is one thing to say we must find ways but when you and John Cline and Myron Walwyn coming with you all noises, please bring some suggestions. We all in this together. Don’t just blow smoke and not call the fire truck.
  • vex (05/08/2021, 14:33) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    This man just reading whatever russel give he to say
  • Honesty Hon. Marlon Penn, opposition leader, you are coming sideways without any credible solutions. (05/08/2021, 15:16) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    We need to find the way forward you said. Yes we do. We did not voted for politions to finds the way. We voted for them to make the way, and lead us in the way. In others words, we need way makers, not way finders.
    People with vision make way that others to achieve their highest potential. People that seek to find the way, are those that seek to follow in the way that others have made. Simple put, a way maker is far more qualify to lead than a way finder. Why? Because not all ways lead to success. The simple truth is that you are a leader, but at this point and time, we need a way maker rather than a way finder as our Premier, but not without a wise heart with genuine love, Gody love.
  • A suggestion (05/08/2021, 15:54) Like (23) Dislike (8) Reply
    The solution is to get everybody vaccinated against Covid 19
  • please (05/08/2021, 16:44) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    hon marlon penn
    what suggestions or ideas can to bring to the table

    you are branded as the opposition-leader and a leader must have ideas- a leader must also be a problem solver

    stop the talking and simply speaking out about a given matter without valid input is simply childish behavior

    the people or some of us looking to more productive chats

  • NezRez (05/08/2021, 16:46) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    Why can't snack bars who have seating outside only, allow 2 people at a table spaced 6 feet apart with a minimum amount of tables maybe 5 or 6? People buy their take out food, but would like to sit and eat it. There will be no crowds mingling and with a safe distance between them outside. Could this be possible?
    • Funny (05/08/2021, 20:57) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      my restaurant has only outside seating and with socila distancing my restaurant can still hold over 100 people they limited it to 25 then limited it to only take out and we only serve dinner, so not much happening and now the season is finished, so any announcement is now too late, yet they allow hotels with restaurants inside to serve guests it is beyond a joke.
  • solution (05/08/2021, 16:47) Like (13) Dislike (7) Reply
    This pandemic has completely changed the tourism industry. Small island countries like the BVI need to become more attractive to potential tourists by providing a safe, secure and healthy destination. The simple solution is every human in the BVI over age 12 gets vaccinated ASAP.
  • vick (05/08/2021, 18:19) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    I work in a charter company,the most difficult thing is the lack of informations of the situation from the health minister. The usvi are struggling now with the delta variant and here,all we got is updates every four days with no real data.if the delta variant is in sx thomas,I doubt that he is not here.
  • Vaccination (05/08/2021, 18:50) Like (12) Dislike (6) Reply
    Mandatory vaccination for all hospitality workers would be a start. Fining businesses who don’t close down after a staff member tests positive and exhibits symptoms is another. Staying open for greed like some businesses have is harming more people in the long run.
  • Dancing in the sunshine (05/08/2021, 19:39) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
    Hon. Penn sounds as if he is building a castle in the air. How and where he would conduct a tourism business in the territory. Unless he would build hotels and restaurants in the sea where they would be free from the hurricanes storms. Tourists will have to be brought into the territory and interact with staffs of the various establishments. What he can do to assist the various businesses , is to advise the residents of the territory to take the COVID-19 vaccines so that the country can be safe for everyone. Encourage all your supporters to take the vaccine.
    The B.V.I is not isolated in terms of business decline. Many other countries in the Caribbean and around the world are in the same predicament and are not crying as Marlon is doing because crying will not help the cause.
    • LCS (06/08/2021, 05:10) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Agreed. We need a plan. Enough talking and more action. Discuss solutions. Meet to brainstorm ideas of what can be done. Learn about what other countries are doing sucessfully. We need to start envisioning a life with COVID-19 and any variants coming along. WAKE UP, PLEASE!!! Vaccination is part of the solution, but there is more to do. Tourism is not the only sector hurting; ALL Are. Government is the only one apparently with lots of money to spend around.
  • fromafar (05/08/2021, 21:13) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Sister islander (06/08/2021, 06:13) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    You feel for the Sister Island tourism businesses? Why? They are not closed!! Other businesses are CLOSED completely. These businesses you speak of were simple asked to adjust their sails until cases drop in the territory. How many of them listen anyway? Due to noncompliance we all suffer in the long run. Some think they are slick, operating how they want sneakingly but those who make decisions know and hence could well be a valid reason restrictions and curfew so tight. Follow the PROTOCOLS people! Since when you all are used to vast numbers of tourists in August??? Stop acting like this! Half of you used to close August and Sept and the islands were like a ghost town. But now you all crying cause the $$$$ you made and did not save for a rainy day burning you up?? Too bad! Lobster Season is Closed. Hurricane Season peak is almost here. Sargassum is surrounding us with its unsightly stench. Can we shift our attention to the wider community now please? Hurricane preparedness, mental health and physical wellness, agriculture, and education? Thanks for taking the focus off of just one set of folks at a time when people are sock, dying dead, grieving, hungry, anxious and the whole world is in the same boat different water
  • question (06/08/2021, 08:23) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    the whole world is experiencing lockdowns and economic downturns: when will you wake up and realize some conversations are purely political

    the leaders need to pay more attention to home affairs and move forward with diversing the economy and stop relying on others for money

    the seawater around our islands is bountiful with fish cant done, our forefather used these same seawater back then but our leader got fancy: we now sitting back waiting on aeroplane and Cruise ships arrivals to make money

    redeveloping the fishing industry is not bad because after a hurricane you dont have to repair the seawater

    some of the 13 elected using covid to score votes next elections: one minute open the ports so ports open in comes devastating COVID-19 cases

    We are going through certain things because of a global pandemic and the proof is here, in our country we have lost our love ones within days, not even hurricanes have caused this much deaths in this territory

    let keep it real; can you see a political party intentionally disrupting the economy of your county

    we did not have any covid 19 2011-2019 yet all now no plane; all now pier park project not complete; all now cash spent on the wall and wall not finished; the sewage east end still sitting in limbo(some willing to sweep such poor political leadership under the rugs)

    The British Virgin Islands is part of a world-look at the united kingdom and united states of amercia

  • musa (07/08/2021, 06:40) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    the headline should be the fastest way to collect back our tax payers money

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