Thu | Oct 29, 2020

Bartlett: All systems go as tourists return today

Published:Monday | June 15, 2020 | 12:27 AM

WESTERN BUREAU:

Furnishings at the Sangster International Airport have been rearranged. Temperature-check technology has been fine-tuned. An area has been designated for COVID-19 testing of travellers prior to their departure from the airport to homes or vacation spots.

This is the new normal as Jamaica reopens its tourism sector nearly three months after closing its borders as the coronavirus pandemic devastated world economies, leaving more than 400,000 deaths in its wake.

Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, after a walk-through of the facilities on Sunday, expressed confidence that adequate systems have been put in place for the reopening of the tourism industry.

“The airport team has introduced numerous changes to facilitate social distancing consistent with stipulated health protocols,” Bartlett said.

“We’re really hoping that our locals and visitors alike will have an experience that they will be comfortable with, bearing in mind the many challenges posed by this pandemic. This is a very unique situation, and we are doing our best to manage it properly.”

Bartlett was joined on the walk by a high-level team, including MBJ Airports Ltd Chief Executive Officer Shane Munroe; Chief Operations Officer Peter Hall; Permanent Secretary Dunstan Bryan; and Chief Medical Officer Dr Jacquiline Bisasor-McKenzie; among others.

A total of six flights from carriers Jetblue, American Airlines, and Delta Airlines are scheduled to land at the Sangster International Airport today. Passengers will be a mix of tourists and Jamaicans returning home.