TAN WEH YUH DEH! Foreign affairs minister seeks to clarify Ja’s ‘open borders’ order

Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson-Smith.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson-Smith on Thursday (April 23) said that the government would not be allowing nationals unencumbered entry into the island.

Johnson-Smith made the revelation in a post on Facebook, despite the latest amendment to section 3(1) of the Disaster Risk Management legislation.

According to Johnson-Smith, the latest amendment only provides the “basic legal framework” and does not mean “that regular travel will now start for our nationals”.

“I am encouraging calm and caution to Jamaicans overseas who are taking the literal language of 3(2)(a) DRMA Enforcement Order No.4 to mean that regular travel will now start for our nationals. I know this interpretation is being encouraged on social media,” said Johnson-Smith.

“As Prime Minister Andrew Holness and I have publicly stated on several occasions, we are preparing to allow for controlled re-entry of our nationals and that this would be subject to new protocols and ALWAYS subject to the capacity of our system to receive them,” added Johnson-Smith.

Johnson-Smith later made a second post on the social media platform, which further sought to clarify the government’s position.

“The DRMA Order provides the basic legal framework. The administrative processes and the new Jamcovid App that will help to make management of the re-entry process easier, will soon be explained and made publicly available,” said Johnson Smith

“Till then, I am asking everyone to stay safe, keep calm, follow official information, wear a mask and keep washing hands regularly. Let us not put more pressure on our frontline workers than they can manage. If we truly love and support them, we will each play our part,” added Johnson-Smith.