Jamaica Extends Phase 1, Introduces Revised Procedures

Jamaica has introduced revised measures for international travellers arriving on the island. As of July 15, all visitors continue to be required to complete an online Travel Authorization, however, travellers from Arizona, Florida, New York and Texas – areas declared by the Ministry of Health and Wellness as high risk at this time — will be required to upload negative COVID-19 PCR test results prior to travel. Tests should be no more than ten (10) days old measured from the day the sample was taken to the day of arrival in Jamaica.

These results, provided by a CAP-accredited lab, are required for travellers from high risk locations in order to receive the Travel Authorization certification, and must also be presented upon arrival in Jamaica. All visitors will still be screened upon arrival in Jamaica via thermal temperature checks, symptom observation and a brief interview with a Health Officer.

Leisure travellers from areas not currently designated as high risk may be subject to swab testing based on symptoms or responses to the risk assessment. Those with negative results – as well as those who do not require testing – must adhere to the Stay in Zone order, which requires persons to remain at their hotel or resort within the Resilient Corridor (along the north coast between Negril and Port Antonio) for the duration of their stay. Those who are screened and assessed and show symptoms upon arrival will be subject to swab testing and must quarantine in their hotel room until test results are available.

Donovan White, Jamaica’s director of tourism, said that: “Health and safety are paramount as we reopen our tourist industry on a phased basis,” said “Risk assessment is an important part of preventing further spread of COVID-19 and ensuring that our visitors and residents stay safe.”

White explained: “We have developed and are implementing procedures throughout the visitor journey that ensure a seamless process so they are able to enjoy what our island and its people have to offer.”

Visitors staying outside the Resilient Corridor, who are deemed to be high risk, will be required to take a COVID-19 PCR test once they arrive in Jamaica and will be under quarantine orders until test results are returned.

Positive cases will be isolated in home or state facilities depending on an assessment by the health authorities. Visitors who are low risk will not be required to be tested but will be under the stay at home measure for 14 days.

All business travellers will receive a swab test at the airport, and must remain in quarantine until results are available.

Travellers from high-risk areas must complete the Travel Authorization between two and five days prior to their planned arrival in Jamaica. The online authorization includes the immigration form, thereby streamlining the entry process.

Approved travellers will receive a travel certificate, which must be presented (printed or electronic) during the airline check-in process. Travellers from high-risk areas will receive their travel certification or denial 48 hours after submitting their questionnaire.

All other travellers may complete the form any time within the five days prior to planned arrival and will receive immediate approval or denial through a scoring algorithm.

The current entry process will be in effect through July 31. Jamaica’s health and safety measures are revisited every two weeks, which is consistent with the government’s approach of evaluating the COVID-19 global situation.

As more is discovered about the virus including medical advancements or as the risk profile changes, Jamaica will make any necessary and appropriate revision to the protocols.

For more, go to www.visitjamaica.com/travelauthorization and for more on Jamaica’s Health and Safety Protocols, visit www.jtbonline.org .