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Tourism and Health Officials meet with Hoteliers to share Corona Virus action plan.

04th March, 2020

ABHTA members

Members of the Antigua and Barbuda Hotels and Tourist Association (ABHTA) met today (Tues) with officials from the Ministry of Health, the Antigua Workers Unions and the Ministry of Tourism to gain first-hand information on the possible threats posed by COVID 19 on the industry and protocols that can be developed when dealing with a potential case.

The forum at the Antigua and Barbuda Hotel Training Institute (ABHTI) also provided an opportunity for a condensed training session on cleaning and disinfecting presented by Ms. Janelle Williams of the Central Board of Health.

Ministry of Health/Tourism Officials

Minister of Tourism the Hon. Charles Fernandes outlined the priority areas for the government with regards to the hotel sector.

“My team and I recently concluded a tour of the isolation facility at the Margetson ward of the old Holberton Hospital to ascertain the progress of work being done as well as its suitability for the intended purpose and we are convinced that we are on the right track with regards to preparations there”, said Minister Fernandez.

“We’ve recommended the establishment of a hotline to the Ministry of Health were hoteliers and other industry partners can have 24 hr. access to pertinent information and advice regarding guest issues as they arise concerning COVID 19”, the Minister continued.

CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority Mr. Colin James stated that efforts are being placed towards collaborating with the Ministry of Health to establish a questionnaire to be used by all tour operators and booking agents to ascertain the travel history and state of health of all potential visitors to Antigua and Barbuda. This James reported should be completed by the end of the week.

AWU Representatives

Union representative Mr. David Massiah who recently returned from a meeting in the UK relating to workers issues that may arise in the threat of COVID 19 in the workplace, re-iterated the support of the union to resolve any employee/employer issues which may arise as a result of employee sick days, work schedule changes etc.

A channel of communication was opened between the hoteliers and Dr. Zachariah which sought to enlighten on proper preventative methods for contraction of the corona virus as well as updates on the current infection and mortality rate world-wide.

Hotelier questions also centered on travel ban protocols for countries which have registered high infection rates as well as procedures adopted locally for screening and testing visitors.

The Ministry of Health is the government lead agency for official updates and information regarding Corona Virus protocols in Antigua and Barbuda.