You can be vaccinated and still contract and spread the virus
The Government of the Turks and Caicos has decided to extend the vaccination requirement to March 31st, 2023. I must admit I don’t understand the logic behind the decision and so I don’t see the need to maintain this policy. In one media outlet (Magnetic Media), The Ministry of Health stated the reasons for the extension are the increases in COVID 19 cases regionally and internationally including hospitalizations and deaths, the positivity rate, high volume travel in winter season, low booster uptakes in TCI and strain on the hospitals worldwide due to other respiratory diseases and low booster
The thing is you can be vaccinated and still contract the COVID 19 virus. I know this because I am vaccinated and was able to contract the virus. If the Government is really concern about the spread of the virus, then the Government should ask individuals to take a test before entering the country. After all, that is what the UK Government implemented at the beginning of the year. If you are not fully vaccinated, the UK Government requires you to take a test two days before arrival. I thought the TCIG always say they are guided by UK Health, but we are not doing the same thing the UK is doing.
COVID 19 and the vaccine
From the time COVID 19 emerged in 2020, there has been an increase in the knowledge about this virus. Initially, I think most of us were under the impression that if you take the vaccine, it will reduce the spread of the virus. However, as time went by, it became clear that vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals can contract the virus. Therefore, most countries have removed the requirement to have individuals be vaccinated to enter. Of course, Governments throughout the world are still encouraging their citizens and residents to become vaccinated due to the benefits. Some of the benefits include the prevention of serious illnesses, protection, avoiding long stays in the hospital and creating a herd immunity. However, it does not stop you from contracting the virus.
I am not a medical expert nor a medical person, but I believe we continue to have COVID 19 cases because some of us have become relaxed by discontinuing to wash our hands, discontinuing to practice physical distance and by discontinuing to wear masks.
Tourism is our bread and butter
Tourism is our main industry and while we continue to attract many visitors to our shores, we are still in competition with the entire Caribbean who have remove the requirement for visitors to be vaccinated.
While it appears that the tourism numbers are high, the numbers can be even higher if we removed the requirement. It is predicted that recession is imminent. If we have recession, the number of visitors may reduce. Doesn’t it make sense then to capitalize now on encouraging and promoting more visitors to come to the country by removing the vaccine mandate. Furthermore, our crime rate appears to be in a decline state, so this is a great time.
Historically, the high volume of travel is not just until the end of March but until end of May so one of the reasons about the high volume does not make sense. If we think there will be possible strain on the hospital, then have people get tested before arrival and during their time here so in the event they are tested positive, they can return home rather than utilizing the hospital.
I am not sure who is advising the Government about the decision to extend the vaccination mandate, but this decision does not make sense currently. There are property owners and other people who want to visit the TCI, but they are unable to because they are not vaccinated. I repeat and conclude with the same point raised in the introductory, you can be vaccinated and still contract the virus. Therefore, the policy to extend the mandate for another three months is not logical.