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Going flat out to keep visitors, Jamaicans safe from COVID-19


Jamaica’s tourism ministry, working in tandem with industry stakeholders, has crafted a deep and comprehensive plan covering 119 pages to keep visitors and Jamaicans alike safe from COVID-19.

Following is the first instalment in a series of excerpts from the document titled ‘Resilience: COVID-19 Ministry of Tourism Health and Safety Protocols for theTourism Industry 2020’:

Safe and resilient tourism has consistently been a foundational element of Jamaica’s tourism industry. Tourists and Jamaicans alike have high expectations for Jamaica as a top Caribbean tourist destination.

These protocols reflect the ongoing commitment to meeting these expectations. Specifically, they take into account the health, safety and well-being of tourists, employees, and communities seeking to reduce the risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 while promoting an enjoyable and relaxing experience.

We recognise that reopening the tourism sector in a safe and controlled manner requires a phased approach. During Phase 1, for the time period of June 15 – June 30, 2020, a COVID-19 Resilient Corridor has been introduced which includes the coastline from Negril to Port Antonio. Only businesses within the corridor which have been trained, assessed, and cleared for opening by the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) are allowed to open to tourists during Phase 1.

All ground transportation for tourists must be arranged by a business that has been cleared to open, no unlicensed transportation is allowed.

 

Goals and Objectives

The goal of the Ministry of Tourism’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols is to strengthen Jamaica’s resilience to COVID-19 and safeguard all stakeholders within the tourism ecosystem, including workers, communities and tourists.

The specific objectives include the following:

• provide guidance to enable consistent recovery protocols;

• support health and economic risk management across the tourism industry;

• provide a framework to drive quality assurance of implemented protocols and regular monitoring;

• maximise effective recovery by facilitating and improving the flow of information and coordination; and

• enhance and coordinate recovery intelligence gathering and information sharing capabilities.

 

Documentation

Pursuant to this document, each operator in the tourism sector is required to adhere to the Ministry of Health and Wellness guidelines put forth to assist employers in managing their workforce.

Furthermore, operators are required to submit three plans to TPDCo for approval. All of these plans should be developed in collaboration with TPDCo and the Ministry of Health and Wellness. These plans include the following:

1. Emergency Plan

2. Physical Distancing Plan

3. Communication and Reporting Plan

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