Trelawny Northern MP appeals to tourism workers to take the vaccineThursday, August 19, 2021
FALMOUTH, Trelawny - Member of Parliament (MP) for Trelawny Northern Tova Hamilton is imploring individuals in the constituency who are desirous of working in the island's cruise shipping sector to get vaccinated.
Carnival Sunrise — the first cruise ship to arrive in the island in almost 18 months due to the novel coronavirus pandemic — docked at the Ocho Rios pier in St Ann on Monday.
What's more, reports reaching the Jamaica Observer West indicate that the historic Falmouth port in Trelawny is expected to welcome its first cruise vessel since the pandemic at the end of this month.
“I am obliged to appeal to all those who will be engaged on the port and within the artisan village to get vaccinated. It is imperative to give ourselves a fighting chance against the virus,” the Trelawny Northern MP said.
“Now more than ever we need to balance lives and livelihoods,” she added.
Jamaica Union of Travellers Association (JUTA) tour operator Adrian McKenzie argued that it is prudent for individuals to be vaccinated as most of the visitors are inoculated and are requiring that the workers in the tourism sector be vaccinated.
“Most of the tourists are vaccinated and are demanding that the workers are inoculated as well; therefore, if that is a requirement we just have to go along with it,” McKenzie said.
Speaking in Montego Bay on Sunday, Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett made it abundantly clear that no one will be allowed to work in the cruise sector if not vaccinated.
“We are not making things mandatory in the full sense of it, but we are saying that, because we are a prescribed group and we are dealing with people who are also requiring that we are vaccinated stakeholders as a condition of their coming to Jamaica,” Bartlett said.
“We are not going to allow the opening for cruise to become a point of concern for the health and security of our people.”
Bartlett also stated that the protocol of the cruise lines is even more rigorous than that of many countries.
“They [cruise lines] are saying to me, and to all of us, they are not exposing their guests to unvaccinated stakeholders,” Bartlett stressed.
In fact, the tourism minister announced that the Ministry of Tourism has established a task force to drive the process of getting all tourism workers vaccinated.