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Aug 11, 2021

Vendors at Altun Ha Given Warnings About Vaccine

Last week craftspeople and other vendors at Altun Ha Archaeological Site were told they would have to show proof of vaccination or have their stalls closed down for this week’s “bubble tour” of cruise ship visitors. Marion Ali was at the site this morning to see what happened and if people complied.


Marion Ali, Reporting

The showdown that some vendors who have gift shops at the Altun Ha archaeological site anticipated did not happen today. The policeman assigned to that location did not shut down operations for vendors who are unvaccinated. Instead, he stopped at each booth and simply informed them that next Wednesday when the cruise tours arrive they will need to either show their vaccination card or a negative COVID PCR test result.


But this is the issue that unvaccinated people like Sydney Prince have a problem with. He is unvaccinated and feels that Statutory Instrument 74 is too overbearing.


Sydney Prince, Crafts Vendor, Altun Ha Archaeological Site

Sydney Prince

“Last week deh come tell we bout all who nuh get vaccine at least swab or can’t open up shop. But then yoh have the tourist deh who nuh get vaccine, deh pass through, deh could use the restroom.”


It is a sentiment that President of the Altun Ha Exclusive Art Association, Andrea Mendez, agrees with.


Andrea Mendez

Andrea Mendez, President of the Altun Ha Exclusive Art Association

“It is a concern. Why bring them in if they’re not vaccinated and you’re telling us that we should get vaccinated. I [got] vaccinated not because of anybody. I vaccinated because I want to keep myself and my family safe. I’m not against the vaccine.”


Prince feels that there ought to be fewer mandatory requirements and more infrastructural options put in place to keep the vaccinated and the unvaccinated separated from the start of the tours to the finish. He thinks that if this were in place, business would be better for everyone.


Sydney Prince

“I believe everybody have deh own choice. Who want get vaccine go ahead; who nuh want get vaccine that da fid eh choice, soh at least mek NICH build a separate bathroom fi the ones weh nuh get the vaccine. Deh just visit the site and deh goh round the bathroom and deh bypass all the gift shops. Deh use the bathroom and jump back eena the bus and goh.”


Interestingly, both Prince and Mendez agree that the authorities need to intensify the vaccination campaign.


Sydney Prince

“Certain things I know. I have certain side effects, yes. But I nuh know everything. As soon as I could find out everything weh I need fi know and if ih mek sense to me then let’s have the vaccine.”


While the other vendors at the site did not want to talk on camera, a couple informed us that they took the vaccine because they felt they had no other option. Paying for PCR tests every two weeks when business is slow is not a viable exercise for them.

We did note that several of the booths were closed for business today, but it was not clear if that was because their proprietors were still unvaccinated, or because they were engaged in other business.


Marion Ali reporting for News 5.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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