Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says he is pleased with the level of compliance of tourism operations in Westmoreland with the protocols put in place by the Government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the sector.
He was speaking at a press briefing held at the Bluefields Bay Villa in the parish on Friday (July 31), following a tour of several entities, to get a first-hand look at the safety measures put in place and donate sanitisation items and personal protection equipment (PPE).
He was accompanied by a team from the Ministry, the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF), Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) and Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB).
The Minster visited large and small hotels and attractions including Riu Negril, Bluefields Bay Villa, Rondel Village, the Zimbali Retreat, and Scott’s Cove, which is located at the border with St. Elizabeth.
“I am very pleased with what I have seen. I went to large hotels, small hotels and villas and they are fully compliant,” he said.
“I also had an opportunity to look at some of our smaller, micro- enterprises, particularly those that are in street food activities and we have also made an opportunity open for all of those that are not fully compliant, to do so,” he noted.
As part of the day’s activities, the TEF donated items such as hand sanitisers and dispensers, hand-held thermometres and garbage bins with foot pedals to Rondel Village in Negril, as well as PPE and plastic buckets with taps to vendors at Scott’s Cove to promote hand washing.
Minister Bartlett said that the partnership with the Ministry of Health and Wellness, to ensure that all the stakeholders, particularly the small and micro- enterprises, are COVID compliant “is one that the Ministry of Tourism takes very seriously.”
He noted that the TEF, through the linkages division “has been at the forefront in ensuring that these small players observe the highest level of safety and that the gadgetry and the personal protective equipment that are required are available to them.”
Minister Bartlett informed that similar donations have been made across the island through funding of $20 million from the TEF.