COVID-19: Hilaire Responds To Criticism Of Festive Season Protocols – St. Lucia Times News

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

– Advertisement –

Tourism Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire has been addressing the matter of COVID-19 protocols for the festive season, criticised in some quarters for being too lax and now contributing to a massive surge in cases of the virus.

This week, the Castries South MP spoke during the HTS programme ‘Out Goes In.’

“I believe we tried to get the right balance. We allowed a certain amount of latitude for Christmas,” Hilaire recalled.

“I think we were saying even before than there would be a spike in January no matter what protocols you had,” the Minister expressed.

– Advertisement –

“So you do an assessment of just how much you are going to allow. We could have decided that there would be no confinement, any amount of gatherings and actually for the New Year we kind of pulled back a bit because we saw what happened over Christmas. So then we stopped all mass crowd activities for Old Year’s night and New Year’s day. We only allowed family gatherings. Then again you have to ask yourself, should we deny families gathering for the start of the New Year? The protocols said there could only be up to 35 persons in households,” Hilaire said.

He acknowledged that while some people welcomed it, others were against it and disclosed that as Minister responsible for the Creative Industries promotors who spent money in anticipation of the traditional Old and New Year’s activities bombarded him because they were upset over the measures.

“That’s how they make their money,” Hilaire observed.

“We told them they couldn’t do it, only family gatherings because we tried to strike the balance between denying Saint Lucians any opportunity to celebrate the start of the new year or to allow some space. The right balance was to allow families to gather to celebrate,” he said.

Headline photo: Stock image of Dr. Ernest Hilaire

– Advertisement –