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March 16, 2020 – Kingston, Jamaica – Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett and Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton and other senior Government officials hosted a video conference call with over 30 Hotel Executives inclusive of the leadership of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) last night (Sunday March 15) to get frank and detailed sector specific situation analyses in light of COVID-19.
Also on the video conference led from the Health Ministry’s Covid-19 Emergency Operations Centre in New Kingston was Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dunstan Bryan; Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jacqueline Bisasor-McKenzie; Senior Advisor and Strategist in the Tourism Ministry, Delano Seiveright. Video Conference participants included President of the JHTA, Omar Robinson; Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), Chairman, John Lynch; JTB Director, Donovan White and executives of several major resorts including Sandals, Beaches, RIU, Bahia Principe, Royalton, Half Moon, Round Hill, Moon Palace, Iberostar, Jamaica Pegasus among several others.
Senior Strategist, Delano Seiveright noted that, “Minister Bartlett and the Ministry’s leadership has been working closely with the Ministry of Health over the last several weeks. This was further deepened following Prime Minister Andrew Holness chaired National Disaster Risk Management Council meeting on COVID-19 recently and now established tourism health protocols that have been adopted by all tourism entities. The Protocols cover three basic elements – developing the required infrastructure, providing support to the Ministry of Health and educating all stakeholders about the COVID-19 virus.”
“It is clear however that with escalating travel restrictions and broad discouragement of non-essential travel, here and abroad, the sector will be reduced to a trickle for some time.”, Seiveright noted.