Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the controlled re-entry programme has served Jamaica well, enabling effective management of the number of persons coming into the island.
In a statement to Parliament on Tuesday (July 28), Mr. Holness informed that a total of 82,000 applications for re-entry into Jamaica have been processed – 31,000 via the https://jamcovid19.moh.gov.jm website, which caters to Jamaicans, and 51,000 through the https://www.visitjamaica.com website, dedicated to non-residents and visitors.
“Approximately 61,300 people have arrived in Jamaica; 21,300 are residents and 40,000 are non-residents. An additional 18,800 people have been approved to travel – 8,900 are residents and 9,900 non-residents,” he said.
The Prime Minister noted that during June, Jamaica welcomed an average of five flights and 410 passengers per day. For July, there has been a significant increase, with 24 flights and 1,700 passengers arriving per day.
“We are projecting that a total of 55,000 passengers will arrive in Jamaica for the month of July, compared to 12,300 who arrived in June,” he told the House.
In the meantime, Mr. Holness pointed out that the protocols put in place under the controlled re-entry programme on July 15 will be maintained, including the stipulation that passengers are subject to health screening and risk assessment on arrival at the ports.
Under the protocols, visitors from areas declared as high-risk by the Ministry of Health and Wellness – Florida, New York, Arizona, Texas – who are registering on the visitjamaica website as of July 1, are required to upload a valid Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, which must be no more than 10 days old, from the expected date of their arrival.
“Approval for travel to Jamaica will be subject to the upload of the test,” Mr. Holness advised.
The Prime Minister said that responses to questions on the jamcovid or visitjamaica websites will also determine whether persons are given approval to travel to Jamaica.
Additionally, Jamaican residents and visitors staying outside of the COVID-19 tourism resilient corridor, who are deemed to be high-risk based on their health assessment, will be required to make an appointment online to visit the nearest health department testing location to have a PCR test done.
The corridor restricts visitor movement, only allowing authorised access to specific sections of the island.
“Tourists staying in the resilient corridor – that is, travellers for tourism deemed to be high-risk, either based on countries visited or based on health screening, will be required to do a PCR test as well, and be quarantined in their hotel until the results are available.
“If tested negative, then the stay-in-zone Order applies, whereby tourists are required to [remain] on the property for the duration of their stay. The tourist will be allowed to visit attractions within the resilient corridor,” the Prime Minister explained.
Turning to business travellers, Mr. Holness advised that they will continue to be tested at the airport and will be asked to do a PCR test. They will have to quarantine in their hotel until the results are available.
“If the tests come back negative, then they will be allowed to carry out their business, adhering to the protocols, and they will be advised to minimise contact with the population,” Mr. Holness said.