TOURISM MINISTER Edmund Bartlett said that Monday’s “soft reopening” of the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay was a silver lining for workers at that gateway after a near-three-month layoff.
Bartlett was addressing journalists at the airport where he, along with Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton, was on hand to witness the arrival of the first plane carrying tourists into the island since the country closed its borders on March 24 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The prospects that 5,000 people working at this airport see their jobs coming back, I think, is the most satisfying of all and perhaps the greatest sense of hope that is provided,” the tourism minister said, while cautioning employees to adhere to health protocols.
More than 800 people have registered and booked on the JAMCOVID Visit Jamaica website, which offers disaggregated data on places of origin and other information.
Also on hand to witness the arrivals was Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) President Omar Robinson, who revealed that only a handful of hotels, namely Deja Hotel, Moon Palace, RIU Ocho Rios, Sandals Montego Bay and Beaches Negril, are reopening this week with the others slated for next month.