This is according to Chief Environmental Health Officer Mr E. Lionel Michael, who explained the reason during an interview with the Government Information Service (GIS) on Wednesday, November 18, 2020.
“Places like bars and nightclubs, beauty shops and barbershops and spas and so on, we will not be inspecting them again because they have gone through rigorous inspections before. So that list will be submitted to Tourist Board for them to consider them for the Gold Seal certification because they already have our certificate and up-to-date inspections,” he said.
In the meantime, Mr Michael said the marine and hotel sector would have to be inspected to be Gold Seal certified for reopening.
He said, there is an established checklist that persons of those sectors are given, and the requirements must be met.
“When the country was closed back in May/June and reopened we issued what we call COVID-19 Environmental Health Certificates to various businesses and places. A lot of the villas were closed, the hotels were closed, and most of them didn’t get that certificate. So when we make the inspection this time and once they pass the inspection, they will get that certificate. But, that does not allow them to open their business until Tourist Board gives them the Gold Seal certificate.”
Mr Michael said the checklist is sent to the stakeholders and meetings are held to introduce them to the criteria.
“When we make the inspection, and they don’t meet all the requirements we will make recommendations and suggestions for them to put them in a timeframe and then we do re-inspections to make sure that they do so in short order.”
In the meantime, Director of Culinary and Hospitality at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, Keisha Davis-Barnes said the Gold Seal certification programme would continue for years to come.
“We are going to be ensuring that we create and keep this platform going for years to come so that everybody that is working in the tourism industry is certified to do the jobs that they are doing. The main reason that we wanted to do it this way is so that we can ensure that we elevate the service excellence in our country and hold people accountable for the type of service that they are giving.”
“We want persons to understand that you have to be able to do your job within the tourism industry at a standard that is recognised worldwide and you will have that opportunity to do so if you become certified with HLSCC through our American Hotel Lodging Educational Institute brand.”
The programme in question was developed on October 9, 2020, by HLSCC and covers guest experience, professionalism, safety etcetera with the internationally acclaimed certification “START”- the Skills, Task, and Results Training under the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute.