World Travel and Tourism Council endorses Jamaica’s COVID-19 protocols

THE COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols designed for Jamaica by the Ministry of Tourism have been endorsed by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

Word of the international organisation’s approval of the protocols came yesterday as Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett and his team prepared for a news conference scheduled for today to launch the 110-page document.

“The protocols developed by the ministry have been globally recognised as being a leader in tourism COVID-19 management arrangements, and shows that when fully complied with will make Jamaica among the most COVID-19-resilient destinations in the world,” a beaming Bartlett told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

“The endorsement of the WTTC is a signature statement of confidence in the work that the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force has done under the leadership of Wilfred Baghaloo and Jessica Shannon from Pricewaterhouse,” he said.

“What the protocols do is provide a strong layer of security for the workers of the industry in particular, and all the stakeholders Jamaican and overseas visitors who will be enjoying Jamaica,” Bartlett added.

“The document outlines protocols that must be adhered to as part of the local tourism industry’s commitment to keep employees, local communities, and tourists safe from risks related to COVID-19,” a ministry source told the Observer, adding that “as medical research advances or the risk profile related to COVID-19 changes, protocols will be revised.”

The protocols are designed to support consistent standards across the industry and represent the joint requirements of the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Health and Wellness, Jamaica Tourist Board, and the Tourism Product Development Company Limited.

The release of the protocols comes three days after Prime Minister Andrew Holness explained in Parliament that the reopening of the country’s borders will facilitate the entry of Jamaicans only between June 1 and 14. Then, between June 15 and 30 non-nationals may register to enter Jamaica under the controlled re-entry programme which requires individuals to register on the Jamcovid19 app, be screened on arrival, if screening shows a need for quarantine and testing then those will be applied, otherwise they may go the place designated as their address and are required to observe the stay-at-home order for 14 days from the day of arrival.

Holness also explained that tourists will be treated similarly, and if they are cleared by screening they may proceed to their hotel. They will not be encouraged to move about the local population without observing the safety and hygiene protocols. He also said that during the period June 15 to 30 it would be best to encourage tourists to stay in the hotels.

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