Holness lists ‘travel bubble’ countries ahead of border reopening

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness (Photo: JIS)

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has disclosed that visitors seeking to enter Jamaica will have an easier re-entry process if they are from countries deemed to have a lower risk of spreading the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to Holness, countries in the ‘travel bubble’ will be governed by revised protocols to speed up the re-entry process.

Holness, who was speaking on Tuesday (June 2) in the House of Representatives, did not say whether persons outside the travel bubble would be rejected as Jamaica opens its international borders on June 15.

The ‘travel bubble’ will comprise countries within the Caribbean in the first instance, namely—Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Prime Minister Holness explained further that everyone seeking to gain entry into Jamaica will be screened. There was no word on whether a standardised protocol would be established for universal testing upon arrival.

“Screening is not optional,” he added.

The screening process, Holness noted, will include but not be limited to temperature checks, observation of symptoms at the airport, and a health risk assessment.

Based on the risk profile, the public health officer may require the visitor to be quarantined in a state facility, or home quarantine.