“We Will Deal Drastically With Industry Players Who Flout Guidelines, Directives” – Tourism Minister
Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi is warning that players in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry who flouts the guidelines and directives outlined by her Ministry on the fight against coronavirus will be dealt with drastically in the country.
According to her, it is important for all Industry Players to get their hands dirty adding that directives when adhered to will help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.
Addressing the media in Accra, the Minister said “There are sanctions for anyone who breaches the directives. We need to be each other’s keeper because these protocols and precautionary measures are in our collective interest so if you visit a place and you realise that the facility is not complying, do well to report to the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA)”
She added that officials from the GTA and District Assemblies will also be visiting some industries unannounced to monitor for compliance.
Speaking on the improvement of domestic tourism, the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture said “Definitely, we are working on a programme to improve the domestic tourism because our borders are closed and there isn’t going to be much incoming International travel during this period”
She added that her Ministry is not anticipating any movements till the end of the year adding that its target is to push the already existing ‘See Ghana, Wear Ghana and feel Ghana agenda.
She mentioned that she is confident that with enough involvement from Ghanaians, it will help project the country and appeal to the International market.
FOOD & BEVERAGE, EVENTS ESTABLISHMENTS
Speaking on the guidelines and protocols for the food & beverage, events establishments, the Minister emphasised that the owners should ensure that the display of “No Mask No Entry” signage are boldly pasted on the organisation’s walls adding that all directives on the wearing of masks are adhered to.
She said “Provision of soap and running water and hand sanitisers/disinfectant gels with paper towel at public areas. Guests should be reminded when entering and leaving to wash their hands or disinfect their hands with disinfectant gel, preferably located at the entrance to those facilities”
She also underscored that limiting the number of guests for dining to 50% of current carrying capacity of the restaurant will ensure adequate spacing for seating and to maintain social distancing of at least 1 metre.
Speaking on Events such as Conferences, Awards, Workshops and Weddings, the Minister explained that having enough Veronica Buckets together with tissues and stand-alone sanitizer dispensers must be positioned strategically at venue entrances in a manner as to prevent queueing and crowding.
“People in a queue must stand at least a meter apart. Strictly washing of hands before entering event venues. Ushers upon application of hand sanitizers at entrances shall escort guests to their seats” She noted.
Highlighting on activities, she called on Industry Players to critically observe social-distancing, tables usually designed for 10 chairs shall be reduced to 50% of the current seating capacity.
“MCs shall be required to initiate activities/demonstrations that touch on curtailing the spread of Covid-19. As much as possible, PA facilities shall be required to provide at least two microphones: and carefully sanitized after each use. Use of hand sanitizers at the table should be encouraged” she said.
Speaking on venues, Hon. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi hinted that venues for events must conform to regulatory standards adding that it must also be adequately spacious with covid-19 friendly washrooms.
She said “Washrooms at venues should now have stand by janitors to clean and disinfect after each visit during an event. Venues will have to ensure or arrange for uninterrupted supply of services such as water”
FOOD AND DRINKS
Touching on food and drinks, the Minister hinted that to avoid movement and contact, plates can be placed on guests' tables in the course of the program so guests can pick their plates for buffets and be served by caterer and staff.
“Guests can make their cocktail and drink requests through hand gloves wearing waiters and cocktails can be served with disposable cups within the venue” she mentioned.
TOURIST SITES AND ATTRACTION
On Tourist Sites and Attractions, she noted that the Tourism Authority will inspect measures before allowing them to operate.
“Enough Veronica buckets together with tissues and stand-alone sanitizer dispensers shall be positioned strategically at venue entrances in a manner as to prevent queueing and crowding. People in a queue must stand at least a meter apart” she said.
She advised the aged to refrain from touring some tourist sites in the country to help reduce the spread of the novel virus.
NIGHT CLUBS AND DRINKING BARS
Speaking on night clubs and drinking bars, she insisted that they must remain closed adding that the directive must also be adhered to by hotel managers and tourists sites.
Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith