Don't penalise legitimate businesses, Minister Bartlett

Letters to the Editor

Don't penalise legitimate businesses, Minister Bartlett

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

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Dear Editor,

This is an open letter to Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett.

Please make the argument to Cabinet and local government that our PlaySafe Protocols-trained and now experienced and tested staff of 150 have handled over 10,000 masked, well-behaved, socially distanced and continually sanitised Jamaicans at Mystic Mountain since July 21, and we are booked out (COVID-19 self-limitation) for the rest of the weekends in August.

We are a shining example for Jamaica's tourism recovery and our nation's economic recovery in general, and we should not be penalised for the indiscipline of partygoers, event organisers, and the massive that invade the beaches and rivers with impunity and carelessness.

We are providing vital public health screening — not one elevated temperature in the over 10,000 we have tested at our entrance before they enter our park, nor for any of our staff tested daily entering the workplace. We pray this continues.

All this has been done at great cost to us. Millions of dollars — that no one really has — were used to pay employees, to train our team members, and purchase personal protective equipment (PPEs). We were also certified after robust directions by the Tourism Product Development Company.

I am aware that, in addition to Mystic Mountain, consistent inspections are being conducted at Dolphin Cove, Chukka, and other attractions.

To penalise us with the threat of lockdown because of an out-of-control set we are not even associated with is grossly unfair and a setback to our business, our employees, their families, and the nation's ultimate road to recovery.

Why is it that we who are certified and set the example that the country needs to follow are being pressured? You are sending the wrong message, Sir.

If the official tours are not open people will do business unofficially, without training, and that's the real risk, because the entities that are causing these problems have no protocols or don't enforce them, even if they pretend they do.

I am letting you know we will be open every weekend in August. Mystic Mountain is safe, fun, and exciting. It is good for Jamaica. Don't lock us down, hold us up as the standard.

Mike Drakulich


Mystic Mountain

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