Grenada has announced it will adopt new protocols for the hospitality and entertainment industries as part of the measures to boost economic activities given that the island has not recorded any positive case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) for the past two months.
“The time has come that livelihoods be protected as best as possible, the government has recognised like other governments around the world that a focus too much on lives can result in livelihood being lost,” said Health Minister Nicholas Steele.
“As such we have re-evaluated our positions, our policy,” he said, while noting that over the past few weeks the authorities have evaluated other best practices from the region and other jurisdictions in dealing with the virus that has affected 24 people since the first case was detected in March.
“I believe we have found as best as possible measures that can be taken to maintain the safety of the lives of our citizens as well as the livelihood of our citizens,” said Steele as he named St Lucia and Jamaica, as two of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member nations evaluated by St. George’s.
The new protocols which will become regulations under the Public Health Act and will allow for new measures in place so as to grant permission for mass gatherings base on the size of the venue.
“We believe it’s necessary to boost our hospitality sector, apart from the obvious jobs that it creates there is also the needed foreign exchange that the hospitality sector creates,” said Steele, adding “it will also help with the development or redevelopment of the hospitality sector”.
The tourism sector has been significantly affected because of the measures including travel, undertaken by countries to prevent the spread of the virus.
Steele said that the relevant authorities have looked at the various protocols that are existing in Grenada and in other CARICOM countries and regions outside of CARICOM and have decided to re-evaluate.
“It started with meetings with current providers within the hospitality sector not just hotels but those within the entertainment sector. We believe we have found a modality in moving forward where these individual establishments can continue to remain open but maintain safety protocols,” he said.
“Each establishment is unique, and we are working with each and every one of them. In essence, it will allow the Police and the Ministry of Health to evaluate each individual and make a decision as to the maximum number of people who can safely be allowed in that establishment for activities,” he said.
Permission for social activities will rank from simple sit-down dining to dancing/feting events.