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KINGSTON, Jamaica; March 13, 2020: Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has announced that his Ministry has established measures that should be adopted by all tourism entities, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Specially assigned staff-members of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), who are a part of the newly developed Stakeholder Risk Management Unit, will closely monitor the implementation of the protocols.
The announcement was made today, during an emergency press briefing at the Ministry of Tourism offices in New Kingston.
“As a Ministry, we have the responsibility to ensure the safety and health security of all the people who are involved in the industry, at any level. It is also critical for us to build clinical resilience, which is the bedrock of what will make the industry survive over time.
It is for this reason that we have set up, along with the Ministry of Health, a protocol which we have worked very hard on – over the last few days in particular,” said Minister Bartlett.
The Minister noted that the nine-page document, which is now in circulation to all tourism stakeholders, covers three basic elements – developing the required infrastructure, providing support to the Ministry of Health and educating all stakeholders about the COVID-19 virus.
“The first element of our new protocols, has to do with the required infrastructure …We want to ensure that all hotels are equipped with all the necessary chemical components that are needed for thorough sanitization,” he said.
He also added that temporary holding facilities must be designated at all entities, for anyone who is displaying symptoms of the COVID-19.
“We want to establish facilities that will be available for quarantining where we can, in a limited way, ahead of the arrival of a health personnel to remove individuals with an official designated quarantine area. We are encouraging medical support be readily available in every tourism entity in Jamaica. Some hotels have already identified rooms for quarantine,” said Bartlett.
The final element of the protocol is public education. Therefore, the Minister has charged his Corporate Communications Division with the task of creating and distributing educational material about COVID-19 and the newly established protocols to all tourism entities.
Additionally, a COVID-19 Coordinator will be assigned at all tourism entities, who will be the point of contact with the Ministry of Health and Wellness and Ministry of Tourism.
This person has to keep abreast of health protocols and preventative measures and also maintain communication with booking agencies, to ensure that information on travel precautionary measures are observed.
“We know that the health security of Jamaica is the bedrock of any future tourism arrangements in the country. We want to be inserted in the centre of ensuring that the communities that serve particularly around the tourism centres are equipped and have the necessary public education.
We are going to be printing and distributing in every tourism entity, important facts and practices that must be embraced by everyone who is serving in the industry,” said the Minister.