The Tobago Chamber of Commerce is pleading with the Prime Minister to lift all restrictions and reopen Tobago's economy.
Chairman of the chamber Martin George said considering Tobago's ability to contain the virus and its low infection rate. the government can use Tobago as a "test case" to guide the country on the path it should take for restarting the national economy.
In a video posted to social media on Wednesday, George said, "We are respectfully suggesting that we use the model as the test case, the incubator, whereby we can see how reopening business in a limited controlled space, an island of 116 square miles. And then we can seek to applying it broadly to Trinidad and Tobago thereafter."
He said there must still be protocols to enforce social distancing, proper hygiene, covid19 screening and other measures to continue to limit the spread. But if the country can manage the reopening of the Tobago economy, it can use the same model used to reopen Trinidad's economy.
"If we as Trinidad and Tobago can manage the reopening of the economy fully in Tobago, reopen all the businesses, all the restaurants, all the bars, all the tour operators, all the activities at the beach, reopen everything, reopen the flights fully...let's see how this works. So TT as a whole can get a snapshot of how the eventual opening up of the country's economy can work. It's a win-win, both for the government and for the people."
He said if that were done, Trinidadians who may not be able to go abroad with their children could go Tobago for a weekend.
"They can relax, they can enjoy themselves.
"But for them to have the full vacation experience, the beaches need to be opened fully. The restaurants and bars need to be open fully."