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Sandals South Coast Jamaica

Jamaica’s tourism reopening protocols under review

Sandals South Coast Jamaica

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says protocols to facilitate the reopening of the tourism industry have been drafted and are under review by the health ministry.

Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett (Photo: JIS)

Bartlett made the announcement last weekend at a virtual ceremony at the ministry’s offices in New Kingston to handover 10,000 masks to front line industry workers.

On Sunday at a digital press conference at Jamaica House, Prime Minister Andrew Holness officially opened the country’s borders to Jamaicans on Monday, June 1 and international travellers on June 15.

The protocols, which are contained in an 88-page document, 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”.

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

Tourism is among the sectors hardest hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic, with several hotels and attractions having to scale down or close operations leading to the laying off of workers.