The Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association (BHTA) has backed the Government’s pledge to punish visitors caught breaking COVID-19 protocols.
In a statement released on Thursday, Chairman of the BHTA Geoffrey Roach said the association takes the matter of the health and safety of Barbadians seriously, and supports all interventions done by Government and healthcare professionals, in the fight against the spread of the virus.
It said: “The BHTA supports bringing the full weight of the law against any person who breaks quarantine and, to this end, we support the establishment of the Rapid Response Unit as it allows for a swift response by the relevant authorities so that the necessary action can be taken against persons who pay scant regard to the safety measures established.
“The unit will also serve to enhance the efforts of our accommodation members who have been hosting visitors to Barbados at this time, as the country seeks to balance the economic welfare of our people with the challenges presented by COVID.
He also insisted that any breaches to quarantine protocols that are brought to the attention of the association, relevant authorities will be immediately notified.
He declared: “Any breaches of these protocols and processes that are brought to our attention are speedily reported so that corrective action and enforcement can be taken.
“Indeed, some of our members have reported cases of persons who were challenging their quarantine requirements and while these have been few in number and dealt with in a professional manner, greater support from the relevant enforcement agencies would be useful.”
With tracking bracelets for visitors in quarantine soon ready for deployment, the BHTA is embracing its use to help keep visitors in check.
Roach said: “Our position is that as a country we need to take the necessary steps to ensure that, in the interest of all Barbadians, quarantine is not compromised. It is for this reason that we also welcome the soon-to-be-launched BimSafe App and tracking bracelets.
“As an Association we were involved in the discussions on the introduction and use of this new technology and anxiously look forward to the full deployment.” (SB/PR)