Jamaican Gov’t announces new arrival protocols

Some visitors will be required to have COVID-19 testing done prior to arrival, Jamaica announced as part of its changes entry protocols.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the announcement on Monday (June 29) while speaking at a COVID-19 press briefing. 

Holness said the current entry protocol, which requires all passengers to be tested on arrival, is unsustainable, particularly due to the number of people arriving by air.

He revealed that since the country opened its borders on June 1, approximately 14,600 persons have arrived on the island; an average five flights with about 410 passengers daily.

Holness said he anticipates the number of people arriving in the island to increase in the coming months, as such the Government was reconfiguring its entry protocols.

Come July 10, the Prime Minister said visitors from areas declared as high risk – Florida, New York, Arizona, and Texas – would be required to upload results from their COVID-19 test to the visit Jamaica website.

The PCR test must be done no more than seven days prior to the expected date of arrival.

Once uploaded, a determination will be made on whether or not to grant the individual entry.

“But obviously, if you upload a test that is negative, that doesn’t mean you will be automatically approved. We still look at other things, but it is highly likely you’ll be approved,” said Holness.

Others arriving in the island would be required to make an appointment at one of the PCR test locations, he added.

“So, non-Jamaicans, and Jamaicans who are coming home, they are not going to resorts, they’re coming to be amongst the general population. At the airport, they will be screened. Now clearly, if we screen them and they are showing symptoms, they would have to be isolated. So they would then come under the protocols of the Ministry of Health and that would include testing as well,” explained Holness.

“If the physical observation does not reveal anything, but the assessment of where they’re coming from the group to which they are a member reveals that they are high risk; then they will be required to register, make an appointment for their PCR test. They will go home, but they are under quarantine orders. So the arrangement is we send you home and you’re under quarantine orders. You then do your test. That is, you go to your nearest health facility, you go back home. Under quarantine orders, you await your test results, “added Holness.