Tourism Chief Warns to Keep Guard Up

Robert “Sandy” Sands, President of The Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) acknowledged that, as the country was taking “a step in the right direction” with the widespread distribution of vaccines throughout the archipelago; the CDC’s re-designation of Level 4 Status from Warning Level 3 for its COVID 19 Travel Health Notices was “not a step in the direction The Bahamas wants to go”. Sands went on to reiterate how important it was for Bahamian citizens, residents and visitors to continue to adhere to established health and safety protocols. “The BHTA, our private and public sector tourism partners continue to emphasize how vital it is that we do not let our guard down. The measures we have deployed thus far have worked in our favor; social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing, to name a few. Now is not the time to celebrate a victory because we have not crossed the finish line. We can and will get there, but we must continue to deploy practicable common-sense steps; adhere to proven protocols and comply with rules and regulations put in place to mitigate the spread of the virus. These along with a robust vaccination strategy are key to our ability to avoid the massive resurgence so many countries are facing right now”. Sands stated emphatically: “We have come too far to veer off course at this critical stage in our journey to a full and sustained recovery.” Sands praised those who had contributed to the country’s success in controlling the spread of the virus; The Bahamas Government, The Bahamas Ministry of Health, The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, private sector employers and employees, entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry and beyond, Bahamian citizens and residents. He went on to state: “I have personally spoken to taxi drivers, tour operators, owners and operators of small, medium and large businesses who are so grateful that business is coming back, so happy to return to work and provide for their families once again. We cannot allow apathy or COVID-19 fatigue to jeopardize all that we have accomplished, the sacrifices made by so many. Hope is on the horizon, we need to continue to be vigilant in our efforts to combat this virus”