The Ministries of Tourism and Civil Aviation and Health and the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) are holding consultations with stakeholders to get their feedback on the new draft industry health and safety standards. This is part of the blueprint of creating a new way of doing business in Tourism in Grenada.
Protocols for the accommodation sector were examined in detail in a meeting June 09 chaired by Permanent Secretary, Arlene Buckmire-Outram and attended by Tourism Minister Hon Dr Clarice Modeste-Curwen, Minister for Health Hon Nickolas Steele, COVID-19 Coordinator Dr George Mitchell and over 60 stakeholders.
The health and safety standards covered all aspects including cleaning, sanitization, dining and requirements for staff and guests including the wearing of face coverings and the practice of social distancing.
Minister Modeste-Curwen says the protocols were developed with critical guidance from the Ministry of Health and international agencies such as the World Health Organization.
She stated “Grenada is looking at all of the options and best practices for the ease of doing business in Tourism while protecting staff and visitors.”
The Minister further added “that the protocols were not set in stone and consideration would be given to feedback from stakeholders”. Health Minister Steele and Dr Mitchell made significant contributions to the discussion and answered technical questions.
The Tourism Minister further announced an extension and amendments to the small hotels fund launched in 2019 to assist properties with fifty rooms or less in improving their COVID-19 readiness and competitiveness.
Administered by the Grenada Development Bank (GDB), the terms and conditions have been eased to facilitate greater access. Additionally, the loan ceiling has been lifted from 200,000 to 300,000 EC dollars. This funding can be used to facilitate physical upgrades, training, procurement of health and safety equipment and marketing among other requirements.
In the meantime, Water sport operators including dive shops were trained in the new health and safety protocols for their subsector in a zoom meeting on Tuesday, facilitated by the Ministry of Health’s Dr Shawn Charles. He emphasised proper sanitization, mask wearing and social distancing as well as establishing contact tracing programmes.
Another training session was hosted on Tuesday for Tour Operators on the new way of doing business. The meeting attracted over 80 participants and was facilitated by Environmental Health Officer Deryck Ramkhelewan.
Following, the meeting draft protocols were sent to this group for review and feedback. The process of stakeholder consultation organised by the GTA will continue as protocols are fine-tuned under the guidance of the Ministry of Health and Grenada gets ready to open its borders in the coming weeks.