Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says 60 per cent of the country’s tourism workers are vaccinated.
Providing an update in the House of Representatives on October 13, Mr. Bartlett said the vaccination of tourism workers is key to the sector’s full recovery.
He noted that the vaccination rate among tourism workers was more than double the national average, adding that many of the sector’s 170,000 workers are back on the job.
“Our target is to ensure that 170,000 tourism workers are vaccinated and protected from the possible harm that can come from contracting the deadly COVID-19 virus and its variants. This will aid in our recovery efforts for the sector and by extension the country,” he said.
Mr. Bartlett informed that, more recently, the Ministry doubled down on efforts to create a safer tourism product by establishing a Tourism Vaccination Task Force to facilitate the vaccination of tourism workers islandwide.
The task force is ably co-chaired by the Tourism Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Jennifer Griffith, and President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Clifton Reader.
Mr. Bartlett pointed out that the task force has organised a series of vaccination blitzes at strategic sites across the island.
He informed that they are being hosted in collaboration with the Private Sector Vaccine Initiative in tandem with the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) and various tourism stakeholders, both within the public and private sectors.
To date, blitzes have taken place across the island, including The Jamaica Pegasus in Kingston, Moon Palace in Ocho Rios and Sandals Negril, Grand Palladium in Hanover, among others.
He said the health and safety of front-line tourism workers, citizens and visitors remain a top priority as the tourism industry strives for normality.
“Our robust health and security protocols…our Tourism COVID-19 Resilient Corridors…which have seen a very low infection rate of 0.6 per cent, and our Jamaica CARES programme, have earned Jamaica the admiration of local and international partners,” he said.