In saying stricter restrictions to stem new spikes of the COVID-19 virus in Jamaica final Sunday, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness mentioned all vacationers coming into Jamaica—Jamaicans and guests—will probably be required, efficient March 4, to current a damaging COVID-19 take a look at, concluded inside 72 hours previous to the date of journey, to enter the nation.
Previous to the brand new requirement, solely residents of america, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Panama, international locations Jamaica had categorised as high-risk due to excessive COVID-19 instances, had been required to supply a damaging take a look at.
In saying the brand new journey necessities, Holness mentioned, “We had nice religion that our Jamaicans coming dwelling would have this very excessive sense of patriotism and perceive the strain that our system could be underneath, in the event that they had been to behave in deviant methods from what we suggest as socially accountable within the pandemic. It has not all the time been the case that our touring Jamaicans do that—actually within the upkeep of the quarantine and it’s having an affect on the numbers,” he mentioned.
The prime minister pointed that when the federal government first started its managed reentry program that included pre-testing for non-Jamaican guests, the federal government contemplated making use of this requirement to Jamaican vacationers, however ultimately, they had been exempted as a result of sure issues.
He famous nonetheless that “given the place we’re the place, it (COVID-19) is now a risk to lives…with this new spike…we expect it’s now justified in these circumstances to require Jamaicans coming dwelling to additionally current a damaging COVID-19 take a look at.”
The prime minister additionally introduced enterprise vacationers who had been all the time required to current a COVID-negative take a look at, then bear a PCR take a look at upon arrival in Jamaica without charge, will now be required to pay for that Jamaican take a look at, as a result of limitations on the federal government’s funds.
Holness additionally knowledgeable that the restrictions towards flights coming straight from the UK will stay in impact till March 22, 2021.
Adverse reactions within the Jamaican diaspora
The response garnered by CNW from Jamaicans within the diaspora to the brand new journey restrictions is that this might significantly curtail journey to the homeland.
Gerry Simmonds of South Miami, mentioned she had made a number of journeys to Jamaica over the previous six months, having enterprise to attend there. “Though I’m an American citizen, I used to be capable of get by the COVID take a look at necessities by touring as a Jamaican on my Jamaican passport. I assume that received’t assist anymore. Having to be examined to journey house is one factor, however solely 72 hours earlier than journey will probably be an actual deterrent.”
Jacquie Rose of Plantation had related feedback. “Getting a take a look at simply 72 hours earlier than journey will probably be a problem. Belief me, and don’t get me flawed, I perceive the necessity for this measure, however I want to attend for COVID instances to drop off in Jamaica, and the journey restrictions are lifted earlier than I journey dwelling.”
The brand new measure may even have an extra damaging affect on the island’s vacationer trade.
West Kendall resident, Cuban American Carlos Gutierrez, mentioned he was considering taking his spouse and two teenage daughters to Jamaica to “spend spring break on the Jamaican north coast. Though I perceive we would have liked to be pretested, having to do that inside a brief 72-hour window earlier than touring is just not encouraging, then having to be examined once more in Jamaica earlier than returning to the U.S. That is an excessive amount of.”