The Ghana Tourism Authority has organised a day’s sensitisation workshop and exhibition on COVID-19 guidelines and protocols for tourism and hospitality industry players in the Cape Coast Metropolis and its environs.
The move was to get them abreast of the industry-specific COVID-19 preventive protocols in preparation for the re-opening of businesses after the easing of the COVID-19 restrictions by the Government.
Speaking at the workshop, Dr. Kwabena Sarpong, Deputy Central Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in charge of Public Health advised hotels and other hospitality facilities to add symptoms screening to the checking of temperature for clients.
This, he explained would help them to know the state of any visitor that visited their facility.
Dr Sarpong stressed that considering the rate of the spread of the virus, hospitality industry players and its stakeholders alike needed to put in place strict measures and abide by the national COVID-19 protocols in their operations.
He underscored the importance of the workshop to the safe operations of the hospitality industry and emphasized the need for them to understand the COVID-19 preventive protocols and the specific measures to take as part of the re-opening of their various facilities and business units.
He said they needed to train their staff for them to know about the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the steps to adopt to ensure that both staff and clients were safe from the virus.
Dr Sarpong advised the hotels to liaise with the district health directorate in their jurisdictions and ensure that they were connected to a health facility for which they could call in case they had a suspected COVID-19 case.
He further advised the hotels to put in place systems and guidelines that incorporated all the protective protocols including have an isolation centre for both staff and clients for effective results.
He also urged them to visualise the protocols such that people could relate more to them for effective compliance adding that protocols were effective when the majority of people use them.
Dr Sarpong educated the participants on the common symptoms of COVID-19 as well as the effective wearing of the face mask, face shield and said a person need not to wear a face mask continuously for eight hours.
Mr Kwamena Duncan, Central Regional Minister in a speech read on his behalf by Mr Bless Kwame Darkey, Chief Budget Analyst at the Regional Coordinating Council said more must be done in a coordinated manner to open up the tourism economy.
He noted that the hospitality industry had been the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and that the position of the Central Region as the tourism hub of the country was under siege.
He said pandemic had wreaked havoc on the industry for which the socio-economic life of the region and for that matter, the Central business of Cape Coast had been badly affected.
The Regional Minister described the training workshop as apt and crucial to the survival of the local economy and encouraged participants to take it seriously.
He encouraged the hospitality industry players to take advantage of the opportunities abound in the period of the COVID-19 pandemic and come out with innovative things that would benefit the country.
Mr Kwame Gyasi, Regional Manager of the GTA took participants through the general and industry-specific guidelines and preventive protocols and encouraged them to provide regular staff training on the required PPEs and their effective use.
He said the GTA would continue to engage and monitor the activities of the industry players to ensure that they complied with the guidelines and protocols to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.