With the spread of coronavirus getting out of hand, the government and business community conflict with health experts, who want harsher measures re-introduced before the situation becomes a thunderstorm.
The administration, under pressure from entrepreneurs, threats from moaning parents and unable to challenge the anti-vaxers, is contemplating introducing incentives to encourage more people to vaccinate, which is, admittedly, the only tool left, as we are overwhelmed by complacency.
However, the best incentive is not cash or rewards, but simply the straightforward rule of “no vaccine, no entry”.
The only criterion should be public welfare and the health and safety of the entire country.
Pondering incentive gimmicks is similar to the state-subsidised internship programme at the start of the 2013-14 financial crisis.
Although a good short-term measure at the time, with spiralling unemployment, clearly the intention had been to gain votes before elections.
After the programme was introduced, what happened was that some employers could no longer afford full-pay for interns and let them go, depriving young jobless graduates of career opportunities.
At the same time, no incentives were provided to older people out of work, many of whom remain unemployed to the day.
They barely make ends meet and have given up on seeking new jobs through the labour office, indirectly allowing undeclared work to flourish.
Vaccination is the only way to combat the spread of coronavirus.
Despite the government bragging that Cyprus is among the EU leaders in national inoculations – with about 65% of the population receiving one jab and 50% of adults both jabs – it is not something that reinstates trust and credibility in Cyprus as a tourist destination.
Not that our credibility needed Covid-19 to go into free-fall.
Several measures must be introduced immediately, including protecting the small number of people who cannot vaccinate due to health exemptions.
The priests, naysayer doctors and nurses and Facebook experts should be told to vaccinate or else.
It is a matter of public health, which relates to national security and ensures economic viability.
Implementation of the law is a must, with the ideal instrument being the digital or other forms of the Safe Pass.
Deniers should be subjected to 3-day tests.
Does the government not have the gumption to stand up to these rejectionists? Why should the rest of the population suffer?
It is true that nightclub owners who remained shut from March 2020 have suffered most and have not been fully compensated, while musicians have been damaged, shunned by the state as if they are lepers.
However, during the past few weeks, open-air and beachside club owners have violated every health protocol driven by greed, and nobody is implementing the law.
It is time to revive the plan for a Tourism Police force.
Then again, Joe Public has no respect for the law when the political-connected club owner got away scot-free from last year’s lockdown measures.
The Covid-infected Larnaca socialite organised a party last year for her daughter, let-off with a derisory fine.
If measures are not imposed to rescue what little is left of our tourism industry, harsher punishment must be imposed.