Sen. Kamina Johnson Smith Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has confirmed information that the vaccination status of Jamaican nationals is not being recognized in the United Kingdom, and that some nationals have already been impacted by this development. It is further understood that in addition to their stop-light system (Jamaica is amber), the UK has only recognized the vaccination programmes of a few countries, for example, the member states of the European Union.
The Foreign Affairs Minister explained, “I brought the issue of the treatment of vaccination programmes to the attention of CARICOM for action last week, and I have engaged the UK Government on the issue at the technical level. Additionally, I will also raise the matter in the upcoming bilateral meeting with the UK, in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly this week.”
Johnson Smith also indicated that,” The stoplight travel status is a function of our vaccination numbers, hospitalizations, variants and related considerations in Jamaica. There is some lack of clarity on the specific formula, but it is quite clear that these circumstances need to be improved for ourselves and for this reason.”
The Minister shared that an expanded UK List of programmes has already been determined for October, and while the process is relatively new, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has requested data from the Ministry of Health and Wellness to assist the UK Government in the review of Jamaica’s vaccination programme.
The Foreign Affairs Minister concluded that, “The travel status of the country is another reason why we all should be vaccinated in order to reduce the spread of COVID 19, serious illness, hospitalization and the development of variants. We need to improve the level of protection for ourselves, our families and the wider population. We are all in this together!”