Tue | Sep 28, 2021

JHTA says tourism sector 98 per cent COVID-19 compliant

Published:Saturday | July 24, 2021 | 12:10 AMJanet Silvera/Senior Gleaner Writer


Jamaica’s tourism stakeholders are steering clear of any blame that they have contributed to the latest COVID-19 surge on the island, which is threatening to reverse recent decisions made by the Government to relax restrictions on some sectors including the entertainment industry.

The group was one of the first to come out Friday afternoon, staking claim it was one of the most compliant and resilient in the navigation of the pandemic, which seems set on making its third wave in the country.

“Since reopening last June, our hotels, attractions, tourist transportation, visitor shops and craft markets have been steadfastly observing the protocols – health and safety, sanitising and social distancing – to protect our workers and their families, our guests and Jamaicans in general and it is paying off,” president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Clifton Reader, stated in a media release.

Reader’s comments came hours after Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, admitted that the country was going in the wrong direction in relation to containing the virus which has killed 1,168 Jamaicans as at yesterday (Friday) and infected 51,686 since March 10, 2020.

With an alarming 13.8 per cent uptick in positivity and a case fatality of 2.3 per cent, there has been cause for concern as the country awaits Cabinet’s decision on the way forward next Tuesday.

But before the prime minister speaks on Tuesday, the JHTA has pre-empted any upcoming announcements, stating the systems they have introduced in the tourism sector have been successful and their compliance score has been at 98 per cent.

“Every entity in the tourism sector is inspected and certified following the extensive protocols crafted by the Tourism Product Development Company and the Ministry of Health & Wellness,” said Reader.