There’s cross-party support in the Turks and Caicos Islands for a tougher stance against COVID-19.
Leader of the Opposition People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), Edwin Astwood, has joined the governing Progressive National Party of Prime Minister Washington Misick in urging citizens to maintain their vigilance against the virus.
In a statement, Mr Astwood said, “We are seeing most safety protocols being abandoned and persons going back to business as usual pre-Covid. We are seeing most safety protocols being abandoned and persons going back to business as usual.”
He said he was particularly concerned that some people were dismissing Covid as “just another common cold” and were not wearing masks in public places or social distancing.
According to the Opposition Leader, “Now is not the time for the Turks and Caicos Islands, nor the rest of the world to let its guard down. The pandemic is not over, even if it feels that way to some of us. The virus has mutated to become more transmissible.”
Mr Astwood has also called on the government of Premier Washington Misick to “make the tough, and sometimes unpopular decision to ensure that the right policies and guidelines are put in place for the mitigation of further spread of variants, and for protecting our country and our people.”
The Turks and Caicos Islands is gradually reopening the economy after being forced into lockdown due to surges of COVID-19.
The government is now moving to mandate that all visitors to the islands should be vaccinated before being allowed entry.
Turks and Caicos’ vaccine-mandate also extends to work permit applications and renewals.