Effective 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, Jamaica’s airports and seaports will be closed to incoming passenger traffic for a period of 14 days.
However, outgoing passengers and cargo will be allowed.
This announcement was made by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, during a press conference at Jamaica House on Friday (March 20), where he informed that Jamaica now has 19 confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
He said that the decision was aimed at containing community spread.
“The Cabinet, today, received an update on the development surrounding anti-COVID-19 efforts and … the decision has been,” he said.
“We are cognisant that as the epidemic progresses through its natural phases that it is not a matter of if we will reach community spread; it’s just a matter of when. It is a part of the epidemic, so there are some measures that we have to take to ensure, on the same principle of flattening the curve, that we prevent any wide-scale outbreak or spread,” the Prime Minister noted.
He said that while members of the diaspora will be affected, the decision had to be taken to stop imported cases of the virus.
“We deliberated very carefully,” he said, adding that “it was always on the books that the airports would have to be closed. Jamaica is not the only one doing it.”
He said that Jamaicans returning to the island will have 24 hours to do so.