Low COVID-19 positivity rate in tourism sector, says JHTA

President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), Clifton Reader, says there continues to be a low COVID-19 positivity rate across accommodations and attractions in the country.

In a JIS interview, he said that based on test results for tourists and staff, figures are showing that there is a less than one per cent positivity rate in the tourism sector.

“The level of positivity is so low, and we have the figures. The fact is that when tested, every single guest going back to the US, the figures prove that it is basically less than one per cent positivity rate,” Reader explained.

He credited the widespread implementation of COVID-19 health and safety protocols in the sector for the continued low rate.

These protocols, which are being promoted in the sector under the COVID-19 Ambassador programme, focus on the four pillars –wearing of masks, sanitisation, physical distancing and washing of hands.

“We still don’t forget the four pillars because they are very important and as you know, even when you get vaccinated, we still want them to wear the masks, we still want them to physically distance, because they can still transmit,” Reader pointed out.

The COVID-19 Ambassador programme was launched by the JHTA in October 2020 and targets hotel staff and guests, as well as communities in and around the various tourism corridors, on the practice of the four pillars.

He noted that other sectors in the country should take note of the initiative’s success in tourism and emulate the practice.

“Something within the [tourism] sector is working and we should try to study the sector, so that other sectors can basically look at our protocols to keep their staff safe as well as their guests, customers and the community,” Reader said.

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