Health Ministry reviewing protocols to reopen tourism industry

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Health Ministry reviewing protocols to reopen tourism industry

Saturday, May 30, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of Health and Wellness is reviewing protocols to facilitate the reopening of the tourism industry, which was adversely impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett made the announcement yesterday during a virtual ceremony at the ministry's New Kingston offices, where 10,000 masks were handed over to frontline industry workers.

Tourism is among the sectors hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with several hotels and attractions having to scale down or close operations.

The protocols, which are contained in an 88-page document, will target all segments of the industry, including accommodation, attractions, water sports, craft shops, shopping, cruise ports, airports, contract carriage, restaurants, and bars.

Bartlett said once the document is finalised and signed off on, “we would have, perhaps, the most rigorous set of protocols that could be available anywhere in the world to protect, not just the workers… but the whole country, as we [look to reopen] the industry when the prime minister announces [that date]”.

The minister also advised that the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the World Tourism and Travel Counsel (WTTC) will be briefed on the protocols.

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