Visitors returning to Kerry as the COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease can be assured that it is a safe destination to visit and stay thanks to a new Safe Destination Programme which involves the training of thousands of staff in the retail and hospitality industries in best practice cleaning protocols.
The ‘Safe Destination Kerry’ Programme, in association with Kerry County Council, Kerry Education and Training Board, the Kerry Branch of the Irish Hotels Federation, and the Kerry Tourism Industry Federation has published details of a new ‘Safe Destination’ Badge which will be displayed in premises where staff have undergone specialised training on cleanliness, hygiene and customer interaction in the COVID-19 environment.
Up to 3,000 staff in the tourism and retails industries in the county are participating in training, which has been devised and is being provided by the Kerry Education and Training Board. The aim is to ensure that Kerry tourism and retail staff are trained in infection prevention, hygiene and cleanliness to the highest international standards as they reopen for business.
To receive the ‘Safe Destination’ designation, businesses must register with Kerry County Council to take part in the training course. When their participation in the training is verified by the Kerry Education and Training Board, which is delivering the training, the business will receive their ‘Safe Destination’ badge and signage.
Chief Executive of Kerry County Council, Moira Murrell, said: ‘This is about reassuring people who visit a hotel, a restaurant, a shop or any other premises that they can do so in the knowledge that staff have been trained to a high standard on how to deal with customers in the new environment.
While staff across Kerry are already well trained to a high standard, this is an added layer of specialised training to take account of COVID-19. We want people to feel comfortable and safe when they visit the county as the local economy continues to be reopened and while certain restrictions remain in the interests of public safety.’
Chief Executive of the Kerry Education and Training Board, Colm McEvoy said: ‘The Kerry College training courses address the practical steps which staff need to take to be in line with the relevant guidelines and social distancing practices. The response from participants has been positive.
The courses are being organised through the New Kerry College Business Support Unit and are being rolled out online. Kerry ETB is delighted with the involvement of Kerry College in the delivery of this programme, which we hope will make a positive contribution to the reopening of businesses through the county.’
Chairman of the Kerry Tourism Industry Federation, Pat O’Leary commented: ‘As people begin to travel within the country again and as they consider where they might go for a weekend break or a staycation holiday, we are positioning Kerry through this initiative, to make Kerry attractive as a destination. A safe, managed environment with the cooperation of staff and customers will ensure that Kerry remains an attractive destination for visitors and those within the county as we continue to adapt to the current restrictions.’
President of the Kerry Branch of the Irish Hotels Federation, Bernadette Randles welcomed the interagency collaboration which led to the roll out of the Safe Destination Programme for which Kerry is renowned: ‘As a sector, we are delighted to be piloting this training programme with Kerry County Council and the Kerry Education and Training Board. This is part of the ongoing preparation to welcome visitors back to the county and those from Kerry looking to holiday in Kerry in a safe way. It’s about making sure that measures are in place to maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene to limit the spread of the coronavirus.’
Businesses and staff interested in participating in the training can register with Kerry County Council on its freephone Business Support Line on 1800 807 102 or email@example.com.