Posted: Monday, June 15, 2020. 1:20 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: According to Caribbean Business Report, Jamaica will welcome the first of 70 flights bringing 6,000 visitors today, up to the end of June, the initial phase of a staggered re-opening of tourism on the island.
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett told reporters, “It’s a start, and it’s a start that is going to be vital, because we need to ensure that capacity is there to manage that kind of flow, and health and security, as well as tourism, are going to be special players in ensuring that [overall] management.”
But there are a few caveats. Visitors will be required to be tested for COVID-19, and be restricted to what is called the COVID-19 Resilient Corridor between the towns of Negril, Westmoreland/Hanover parishes, and Port Antonio, Portland parish, on the north coast of Jamaica.
Bartlett explained, “The corridor will embrace small, medium villas, apartments and all the accommodation facilities within that area. We are not yet opening to sporting facilities, to attractions, to nightclubs, and so on. Those are not on for this first phase, nor are we doing in this phase the south coast and the middle of the island.
“We want to focus on the northern area, where [there are] quite a number of tourism properties… But the good news is we are able to manage this area and [the] health [ministry] is able to coordinate and to do the tracing that is necessary. And [there is] the infrastructure for health support in that area, so we will be able to manage the risk better to ensure that there are limited possibilities for community spread.”
Bartlett said Jamaica’s plans have been approved by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), and the World Tourism Organization (WTO) has been approached for their imprimatur.
The primary source market for most of the visitors will be the United States, Bartlett said. Some 35 properties are ready to welcome visitors.
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