COVID-19 Resilient Corridor established as tourism sector reopens

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COVID-19 Resilient Corridor established as tourism sector reopens

Saturday, June 06, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Ministry of Tourism has introduced a COVID-19 Resilient Corridor, which includes the coastline from Negril to Port Antonio, as the country embarks on a phased reopening of the tourism sector.

The corridor is being established under Phase 1, which runs from June 15 to June 30, when international travellers will be allowed to enter the island.

During this phase, only businesses within the corridor who have been trained, assessed and cleared for opening by Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) are allowed to open to tourists, outlined the ministry in its health and safety protocols launched on Thursday.

The ministry also requires that all ground transportation for tourists be arranged by a business that has been cleared to open and no unlicensed transportation is allowed.

These protocols are to be amended at the end of Phase 1, the tourism ministry said.

The 119-page document also outlines eight key health and safety elements for the tourism sector. These include:

  • Sanitisation stations for workers, visitors and surroundings across all locations
  • Face masks and/ or personal protective equipment for workers and visitors who have not travelled together
  • Physical distancing guidelines for workers and visitors who have not travelled together
  • Clear, frequent and consistent messaging for awareness across Jamaican communities, workers and tourists.
  • Reduced cash transactions, expedited check-in/out and encouragement of online menus and ticketing.
  • Temperature checks, health monitoring and escalation of risks on a real-time basis.
  • Clear protocols when care is necessary for any worker, visitor or community member.
  • Training for the entire tourism industry to help ensure workers are equipped to manage protocols based on their role.

The protocols, which cover operations for accommodations, attractions, transportation, air and seaports, shopping, beaches, beach parks and resort areas, are designed on global benchmarks and aim to strengthen Jamaica’s resilience to COVID-19.

The 119-page document was released 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 theJamcovid19app, 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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