Well done, Jamaica! New Orleans couple praises Gov’t for first-world COVID-19 response

New Orleans couple Havanna and Takema Robinson called the Jamaican Government’s coronavirus screening protocols ‘miles ahead’ of the United States. (Photo: Instagram @IAmTakema)

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to unfold in Jamaica, at least one American couple is showering the Government with praise for its handling of persons entering the island following its reopening.

Takema and Havanna Robinson lauded Jamaica’s first-world response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The couple further highlighted what they considered an excellent job being done by medical health professionals who screen all visitors on their arrival into the country.

The Robinsons, who arrived at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay last Saturday (June 20) detailed their experience in a 13-minute long Instagram video just yesterday.

“So, we’re coming to you from Kingston, Jamaica and we just wanted to come on and talk a little bit about our experience coming in and travelling,” Takema Robsinson began.

The Robinsons said that even before they left their New Orleans home destined for Miami where they’d jet off to the sun-kissed island, they had to register three days in advance and once here, went through a rigorous, sextuple-checkpoint process to leave the airport.

Havanna Robinson, who was born in Jamaica, said there was an initial backlog due to three flights arriving concurrently, however, as they exited the plane the local protocols were strict and orderly.

“They had everyone lined up, medical professionals in full PPE taking temperatures [and] escorting people to the bathroom, which was very thoughtful. But as you kind of you move in line and they were taking your temperature, you kind of see the assessment process of what was happening,” Havanna Robinson recalled.

He further explained that on reaching the first checkpoint, he and his wife were instructed to sit while the information they submitted to travel to Jamaica was verified—happening concurrently as their every step was sanitised.

“They kind of did a reiteration of what was on the document, let you know what the procedures were in terms of quarantining when entering [into] the country,” he added.

It was at this first verification stage that the Robinsons were informed they’d be tested twice before the left Montego Bay for their Kingston destination. They said a nasopharyngeal test and a mouth swab were administered.

The couple said they were impressed by the mandatory face mask policy and the fact that every member of staff either wore a mask or donned a full PPE suit.

Takema then explained that after getting through customs and immigration, being each given cards to confirm and identify personalised test kits as well as verifying their identities again—they were instructed to download and launch the JAMCOVID app.

“This is also where you check-in, on a daily basis, while you are here. So they’re tracking you but also collecting data; that’s was very impressive,” Havanna Robinson said.

The Robinsons, in their now-viral video, said that once outside they were given documents to certify they have gone through the full process and the information submitted had been verified.

After completing their tests, the Robinsons said they were immediately notified when they left St James and were repeatedly asked to check-in by the Government via the JAMCOVID app.

Takema Robinson said being in Jamaica was the safest she’s felt in months and sacrificing just a bit of her privacy was worth it.

“The most unsafe of our journey here was while we were in the United States. I have never felt safer about a situation. I know folks might have concerns around privacy and data but if that meant that almost 150,000 people in the United States didn’t have to die…I’d give up some privacy for a little while,” she said.

Watch the video in full below.