Last week, Prime Minister Bob Loughman announced that Vanuatu has recorded its first COVID-19 case on the 10th of November 2020.

This confirmed case, which was detected during routine day 5 testing of an asymptomatic person in quarantine, has now shifted Vanuatu into Scenario 2a under the COVID-19 Health Sector Preparedness and Response Plan where a case is detected at the border or in quarantine.

This case was isolated and will remain so until health clearance is given for release.

Now that Vanuatu has a confirmed COVID-19 case, the Safe Business Operations (SBO) training is more important than ever as it trains businesses on how to apply the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended Health and Safety measures in the work place. The SBO training for Shefa tourism permit holders commenced last week on Monday 9th November with the Accommodation and Food & Beverage Business categories.

It will now become a requirement under the Department of Tourism Accreditation Division for all Tourism Permit holders to gain accreditation against the Safe Business Operations (SBO) Guidelines.

There are two ways in which businesses can gain accreditation against the SBO guidelines:

1. Self-Verification (Supervisor Training), and

2. Assessment (Worker Training).

The Self-Verification process will involve appointing a staff member as a Covid-Safe Focal Point who will be in charge of Covid-Safety in your workplace.

The appointed staff member will need to attend Supervisor Training, which teaches the appointed staff member how to deliver the Worker training in their workplace and also how business operations may change if Covid is present in Vanuatu through the various scenarios or levels.

The Assessment process also involves appointing a staff member as a Covid-Safe Focal Point who will also be in charge of Covid-Safety in your workplace.

The manager/owner, the appointed staff member PLUS at least 50% of your staff (if you have staff) are then to attend Worker Training whereby they will be assessed for competency. The Worker Training teaches basic skills to apply in the workplace.

The diagram below outlines the steps for both accreditation processes.

Businesses that have a Tourism Permit can register to do the SBO training with the Department of Tourism.

Businesses without a Tourism Permit will have to register at the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) to do their SBO training.

Owners of tourism businesses with tourism permits that undergo the Supervisor training will have to go onto the website to do Self-Verification on the Safe Business Operations Digital Platform. Self-Verification involves answering a few questions.

Once a tourism business has passed self-verification, the ‘Clean Caring Checked CCC’ sticker can be be obtained from the Department of Tourism Head Office.

Businesses can go onto the Department of Tourism website under Safe Business Operations to read or download a copy of the SBO Guidelines, the contact tracing form, as well as the checklists.

Please send any questions on tourism recovery to [email protected] and register for your SBO training by email at [email protected]

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