Minister of Health Hon. Jamell Robinson is urging resorts to report to the Ministry of Tourism the frequency with which their guests are having problems getting clearance after uploading their COVID-19 travelling details.
While declaring that the occurrence was few and far between, Minister Robinson, who was addressing a COVID-19 update news conference on Friday, noted that if the matter is reported, more than likely an amicable long-term solution would be found.
“Knowing what happens there would allow the ministry to make the various adjustments so it doesn’t happen as frequently,” the minister said.
He pointed that there are people within the TCI Assured Portal system that can assist in the event such problems arise.
He argued that human error could play a part in the slow application of some of the uploaded materials as the volume of requests for travel increased. He however asserted that as the volume increases the manpower increases as well.
“If you looked at the numbers from last month, the government and TCI Assured would have had to process at least 22,000 applications for persons coming to this country. Yes, that has increased. Over time, particularly during the summertime as the volume increases, the number of persons available to work behind the scenes also increase,” Robinson pointed out.
He added: “What we also have to be mindful of as well is, you have a window, which is a three-day window. So, you have to take the test within three days. So, depending on when you get that test back will dictate when you can upload that test and apply.
"Now, if every application comes back, let’s say, two days after the initial test, which gives you one day, human error or whatever happens behind the scenes can happen where, by the time you get the approval the test, maybe expired…that’s possible.
“But I don’t think that is the norm, and information like that is something that would be good to share with the Ministry of Tourism in terms of number and volume, so they can make the appropriate adjustment for the human resource element, to make sure that that does not happen, and for my understanding of the portal, it is a 24-hour operation.”
He stated that Government was committed to ensuring that the system run without glitches, and they would be working to ensure such a reality.
“Now, I know we want to get to the point where it is more automated, so once you put your stuff in, you don’t need a human behind it to go and view it,” he stated.
Minister Robinson pointed out that his experience with the portal was a quick turnaround time, and asserted that he did not feel it was because he was a government minister.
“Now, I don’t believe it was because I was a minister that I got it back in 20 to 30 minutes. I think that is the experience of some people too,” he noted.