Government's phase two of the reopening exercise began on Thursday and according to THA Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis, this would bring a level of relief to those who may have suffered loss of jobs or even a reduction in their incomes.
Dennis, who also holds the portfolio of Secretary of Tourism, Culture and Transportation, made the statement as he addressed Wednesday’s post Executive Council media briefing at the Anne Mitchell Gift Auditorium of the Scarborough Library.
“I expect that that would ease some of the pressure especially here in Tobago because as we know, a number of our residents were employed in the construction sector and would have been home for a number of months without an income.
“But… let’s not raise any flag of victory as yet. Let’s continue to be careful, let’s continue to adhere to all the guidelines and as all of us should know, the reopening is being done in phases, so as we enter the various phases, guidelines would be issued and of course there will be some specific Tobago guidelines,” he said.
Dennis further appealed to people going back to work to follow the established safety guidelines including wearing a mask and exercising physical distancing, as the novel coronavirus (covid19) continues to impact the world. He noted that the number of covid19 cases in TT remains at 116, which he said seems to suggest that the nation has managed the situation quite well in terms of the healthcare response.
“Therefore, I want to applaud all our leaders, all our frontline staff members, citizens of this country who have worked tirelessly over the past few months, who have put their own safety and lives on the line. Those in hospitals, in healthcare institutions and even those on the streets such as our police officers, soldiers and even our citizens in terms of how we have managed thus far, adhering to the guidelines and restrictions, staying home as far as possible. I think that the majority of citizens and residents here in Tobago understood the need for social distancing, we understood the need to stay at home and I think based on the response of our citizens, we are in a position where we can begin to strategically and carefully reopen businesses across the island and across the country.”
The country's phase two of its reopening includes the recommencement of all public sector construction including construction for beneficiaries of the Tourism Accommodation Upgrade Projects (TAUP).