Chief Environmental Health Officer Mr. Lionel Michael said due to the strict inspections that his department conducted in the entertainment industry, there is no need for them to be reinspected for the reopening of the Territory to tourists.
Mr. Michael’s comments were made during an interview with GIS on Wednesday, November 19, 2020, while discussing the Gold Seal Certification Programme.
He said: “Places like bars and nightclubs, beauty shops and barber shops and spas and so on, we will not be inspecting them again because they have gone through rigorous inspections before.”
He continued: “So that list [of the aforementioned industries] 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.”
To register, persons would have to visit BVITourism.com/reopening-guide and then the Environmental Health Division would then carry out the inspection process.
Michael further informed that the BVI Tourist Board along with his department developed a checklist for inspection and general assessment of the land-based-accommodations and the marine sector.
“We send out this checklist, we convene meetings with the various stakeholders, with the villas, the hotels and the guesthouses and then we have meetings with the marine, the yachts and the boats and introduce them to the checklist that we are going to use to do the inspection.”
He said once they have registered to be inspected, they will be inspected.
“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. You recall that 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,” he explained.
He added, "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 the Tourist Board gives them the Gold Seal certificate.”
According to a press release from the Government, the Tourism Certification Training was launched on October 9 and is being offered through the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College. The programme was developed under the internationally recognised certification “START”- the Skills, Task, and Results Training under the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute.
The course covers 12 of the major line-level positions in the hospitality industry and teaches the skills and tasks necessary to do each job. Also, the student also learns about other areas including the lodging industry, guest service, professionalism and safety.