If COVID-19 doesn’t go away or remains uncontrolled, people can’t travel.
“So until the COVID issue is addressed, we can’t expect our tourism [industry] to come back anytime soon,” said Gov. Ralph DLG Torres during a radio news briefing last Friday.
The governor highlighted this point as he emphasized the importance of having the CNMI community vaccinated. Torres said every time a member of the community gets vaccinated against COVID-19, it’s helping the CNMI rebuild the economy.
He said the only way for the people get back to complete 80 work hours, and the only way for people to get employment and opportunities back is to get the tourism industry back.
When asked about an update with Skymark Airlines Inc., Torres said Skymark’s operation at this point is still suspended as Japan is going through some rough time with regards to COVID-19.
“So there is no update in terms of any flights coming in at this point,” said the governor, adding that they are hoping and pray that Japan and the rest of the world will be able to “flatten their curve,” a term that refers to controlling the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The governor said the faster the CNMI gets the community base tested and vaccinated, then the Commonwealth is in the right direction and could bring back the tourism industry naturally.
Torres said he got his second vaccine dosage last week and there were no adverse side effects. He said first lady Diann Torres’ first dose was good and that she will get her second shot this Friday.
“Just by taking vaccine, you are not only protecting yourself, you are protecting the people you love,” said Torres.