JIS News

The Government is reviewing the pretesting approach that is now in effect, primarily for visitors coming out of North America.

Currently, for the Non Residents Online Application on the website, to apply for entry, a COVID-19 PCR test result is required for residents of the United States, Brazil, Dominican Republic and Mexico who are 12 years of age and older.

Health & Wellness Minister, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, gave an update during the weekly COVID Conversation digital Press Conference on Thursday (September 17) at the Ministry in New Kingston.

“I’ve been given the permission to say that from a tourism perspective, we are reviewing the pretesting approach that is now in effect, primarily coming out of North America, but from other countries, where a tourist who visits [the] Jamaica [ web]site would need to upload a PCR [polymerase chain reaction] pretest and that PCR pretest would have to be negative, which would allow that person to travel to Jamaica to visit,” Dr. Tufton said.

“We are reviewing, meaning public health, with the sanctioning of the Cabinet Subcommittee and the Prime Minister, the reasons why the pretesting was put in place in the first place, which was based on the risk assessment in the markets where most of the tourists were coming from,” the Minister added.

Dr. Tufton pointed out that they (Government) are seeing adjustments in that risk profile, where a number of states are seeing a decline in positives, and in some instances, a significant decline.

“The inclination therefore, based on that assessment, is to review and determine to what extent there is a need for the pretesting, either across the board or in selected states, and the public health’s position will be recommended to the Cabinet…and we’re looking to have a decision taken certainly by the end of this month for October 1, if possible, and it could possibly mean that we could do away with pretesting, if not altogether, certainly in regard to certain states,” the Minister said.

This, he said, should address some of the challenges “that we have been experiencing as it relates to our visitors coming in.”

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