Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett greets a visitor on arrival at the Sangster International Airport – Photo: Ashley Anguin

The Gleaner: Jamaica, Western Bureau – Workers at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St James on Monday expressed relief and gratitude at being able to return to work.

The airport re-opened Monday welcoming six flights, the first for week since restrictions on flights because of COVID-19.

Today the customary ‘hustle and bustle’ were missing.

Red-cap porters, for example, appeared to be in slow motion as they sat outside the entrance to the facility, waiting for flights to arrive to assist travellers.

Also, of note, was the strict observation of health and safety protocols.

Persons who did not need to be near the airport’s entrance were asked to stand several metres away to ensure total compliance.

Douglas Gayle, who works at the airport as a janitor, said he was happy to be back on the job, albeit amid significantly reduced activities.

“We stopped working two different times and then came back, so I am feeling alright now and I’m enjoying it because we’re coming back together,” said Gayle.

Despite the odd situation at the airport, security officer Rene Chambers could not hide his relief at being back on duty.

“It’s a good thing… I was waiting on this,” said Chambers.

“It wasn’t a good feeling to be away from the airport, and now everybody is happy. The situation is not pretty, but we just have to work with it,” he said.