JIS News

The Tourism Product Development Company Limited (TPDCo) has issued more than 1,000 coronavirus (COVID-19) Protocol Compliance certificates to businesses within the tourism industry.

This was disclosed by Director of Product Quality, TPDCo, Deanne Keating-Campbell, while addressing a webinar hosted by the agency on Wednesday (July 28).

Ms. Keating-Campbell said that the COVID-19-compliant certificate demonstrates that the establishment is safely carrying out its operations in keeping with the requirements.

“It means that… your specific entity guarantees the markets out there that you are safe, that you have protocols in place, that you and your staff have been trained and made aware by TPDCo of the protocols. You know how to protect yourself; you know that if there is a case or more of COVID, what the response is. You know what to do, you know how to act, and you know how to keep yourself and your visitors safe,” she said.

She noted that there are general protocols that entities ought to adhere to as well as specific ones listed in the Ministry of Tourism’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols document, which is designed to support consistent standards across the industry.

The document outlines the operational protocols that must be adhered to as part of the tourism industry’s commitment to keep employees, local communities, and tourists safe from risks related to COVID-19.

Generally, the safety protocols require that when guests enter an establishment, they should be wearing a mask, their temperature should be taken and their hands sanitised, and there should be signage and floor markers indicating where persons should go in order to remain physically distant from others.

“Each enterprise is encouraged… when we do our COVID compliance assessment, as well as our spot checks, to have their signage up, to have your staff sensitised and resensitised… and also to ensure that all the requirements of the protocols are being adhered to,” she said.

She noted that a very important requirement is to have in place a safety point person who “has a keen eye and will go through to make sure that the respective entity is adhering to protocols, not just by the staff but also by visitors”.

Ms. Keating-Campbell said that the response to the measures has been good. “Those who are not yet on board, we are working closely with them to get them to [that] stage and to get them opened again,” she noted.

She advised licensed operators who have not yet obtained a COVID-19 Protocol Compliance certificate to contact the TPDCo “and we will facilitate them immediately”.

“We have enough team members to go around to facilities to do the hand-holding,  and it is our objective to get Jamaica’s tourism product safe and resilient because the protocols enable us to be a resilient destination,” she said.

“That is what we want out there, so that the world knows that they can come to Jamaica because our product is safe, and the statistics actually prove that in terms of the rate of infection within the sector, it is either nil or very low,” she pointed out.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, welcomed the webinar, noting that he was pleased that key stakeholders came on board to share their experiences and present expert knowledge on how to weather the pandemic and how to pivot and emerge stronger than before.

Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett. (Official Photo)

 

“In the tourism sector, we are blessed to have many channels of support, and with the free information that TPDCo [has provided], I urge you to act now and use it to your benefit. Apply the knowledge provided to improve your respective businesses or your various fields,” he said.

The webinar was held as part of the TPDCo’s 25th anniversary activities. The event provided insight on TPDCo’s training offerings and licensing process.

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