Local tourism stakeholders have given their commitment to strictly adhere to the coronavirus (COVID-19) safety protocols following the culmination of the week-long Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) sensitisation workshops in Montego Bay, St. James.
The sessions, held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre from June 8 to 15, were critical in preparing stakeholders for the reopening of the nation’s borders to visitors beginning Monday, June 15.
Participants, including operators and workers, were sensitised about the safety protocols in order to protect themselves, their families and community against COVID-19.
Co-owner of Ras Natango Gallery and Garden, Tamika Williams, told JIS News that the information imparted was crucial and the protocols will be practised at her entity.
“In order to stay healthy when the sector reopens, it is important that every Jamaican makes it their responsibility to have this information and adhere to it – from social distancing, to the wearing of masks and washing of hands,” she noted.
“We just have to make sure that we don’t get an increase in COVID-19 cases, so we are not going to be lax,” she said.
She appealed for all stakeholders to cooperate as the sector resumes phased operations, “as this will determine if we will be able to completely reopen”.
Bartender at the White Witch Golf Course, Shaniese Johnson, told JIS News that the workshops taught her a lot about social distancing and the wearing of masks and how these practices should be adopted as part of her daily duties.
“I also learnt that I must sanitise after everything that I do, especially after touching money, because, where I [work], it is a tip-allowed company, so you should sanitise after receiving the tips and so on,” she noted.
“My work also involves driving around the [golf] carts. So instead of having the guests touching the items, I handle them to reduce potential transmission of anything,” she added.
Ms. Johnson further stressed the importance of protecting herself to limit the risk of COVID-19 transmission to her family and community.
The workshops in Montego Bay were held concurrently with sessions in Negril and Ocho Rios. Operators of accommodations, tours, car rentals, attractions and craft shops were among the thousands of local stakeholders sensitised.