No masks, no testing, so allow the unvaccinated visitors to come too

Students wearing masks in class

No masks, no testing, so allow the unvaccinated visitors to come too

Vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals can contract the virus

Introduction

Let me first declare two things. I am vaccinated and I have no regrets being vaccinated particularly due to the underlying condition the doctors told me I have. The second declaration is that I work in the hospitality industry and this article is by no means to promote my industry.

You see the Government has decided to relax the requirements for visitors coming to the Turks and Caicos. I do believe a review was necessary especially with respect to the portal whereby all persons (visitors and residents) had to register and complete prior to entering the Turks and Caicos. For many persons including myself, it was so stressful because sometimes the approval came through at the last minute. Therefore, I support the removal of the portal.

However, I do not support the discontinuation of the wearing of masks and testing, as we will expose the residents to a greater chance of contracting the virus.

No mask

I know many will argue that wearing a mask is not healthy as it affects your breathing and possibly breathing into much carbon dioxide. However, many health experts have stated there is nothing scientific to prove those arguments and in fact they claimed the wearing of masks is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID 19.

The Turks and Caicos Hospital has announced that the wearing of masks for all staff, patients and visitors will remain in effect for the organization. The press release also further stated how the Omicron subvariant BA-2 is more transmissible than the original variant. Therefore, I encourage individuals to be vigilant and don’t let your guard down and you can do so by wearing your masks. The virus is still present and as you can recall, there was a significant spike over the Christmas holidays because there were many outdoor events and people were not wearing masks.

No testing

All visitors entering the Turks and Caicos Islands are required to be vaccinated. Prior to the relaxation of the entry requirements, visitors and unvaccinated residents were also required to have a negative COVID 19 test within three days of arrival.

I don’t think this requirement should have been discontinued. I believe everyone should be tested including vaccinated residents. Obviously, by getting testing, you can know the status of individuals and if you are positive, you should not be allowed to enter the country. The thing is, because testing is no longer required, there will be individuals entering the country who are positive who in turn will spread the virus to others. I am not saying that people will enter the country and intentional spread the virus as the truth is some people are asymptomatic and therefore wouldn’t know if they have the virus until they are tested.

Vaccinated and unvaccinated can contract the virus

According to CDC, the vaccine can prevent you from getting seriously ill and offers protection. However, you can be vaccinated and still contact the virus. Now if vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals can contract the virus and the fact that the Government has removed the requirement of no masks, no testing, and no insurance, then shouldn’t the Government also allow unvaccinated individuals to enter the country too.

Conclusion

Many individuals are tired of wearing the masks and therefore now that is not mandatory, they will not wear the masks. At the time of writing this article, there were 50 active cases in TCI. While this number is low, we have to be very careful that there is no increase in the spread of the virus. The spread of the virus can be reduced by wearing masks, washing your hands frequently and physically distance yourself from others. It only takes one person who is COVID 19 positive to cause an outbreak of the spread of the virus to others. Is this what we really want?

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