Jamaica has announced it will reopen its borders for international travellers on June 15th.
The country is currently repatriating 8,000 Jamaican nationals who have been stranded overseas due to Covid-19 related travel restrictions.
Additionally, an extensive set of operational protocols were announced, including health screening before entry, which will be implemented to manage risks to workers, communities and travellers.
From planning the trip to enjoying the destination, the protocols address all stages of the visitors’ journey, incorporating the lifecycle of prevention, detection and response.
Safety is paramount to a resilient and sustainable tourism sector.
As the nation’s largest economic engine, Jamaica’s tourist industry employs 130,000 workers, and impacts an additional 120,000 jobs from other industries (water, agriculture and power, among others), fuelling more than one third of the country’s economy.
“Tourism is the lifeblood of our local economy, and with the help of international experts and a dedicated task force, we have developed protocols that allow us to safely reopen our borders,” said Donovan White, Jamaica director of tourism.
“We are confident that as we restart our economy, Jamaicans will work together to ensure a safe, secure and seamless experience for our tourism workers, their families, and visitors, while preserving the authentic experiences travellers seek when they visit our shores.”
The Jamaican government worked closely with international partners to develop the public health-focused tourism protocols, which were designed based on benchmarks globally to include nearly 20 markets in the Caribbean, as well as global health agencies.
Protocol development also included extensive consultation with local government agencies including ministries of health and wellness, national security and foreign affairs as
well as private sector, unions.
Advice was also sought from international partners within and beyond the tourist industry including the World Travel & Tourism Council, Centres for Disease Control & Prevention, the World Bank, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and development finance banks.
Up until June 14th, Jamaicans returning to the island will undergo temperature checks and a screening with public health officials.
They will need to quarantine at home for 14-days and be monitored with phone or wristband geofencing.
After June 15th, all visitors will be screened via thermal temperature checks and symptom observation.
If a temperature is elevated, the visitor will be subject to additional screening, including testing, if needed.
Any visitor who exhibits symptoms or is ill will be subject to quarantine.
Jamaica’s health and safety protocols will be revisited every two weeks, which is consistent with the government’s approach of evaluating the Covid-19 global situation.
As more is discovered about the virus including medical advancements or as the risk profile changes, Jamaica will make any necessary and appropriate revision to the protocols.
To find out more about visiting – when the time is right – head over to the official website.
Breaking Travel News earlier spoke to Jamaica minister of tourism Edmund Bartlett about the recovery of the sector in the country and how the demand of travellers might change in the post Covid-19 world.
Take a look at his thoughts here.