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JIS News

Returning Jamaicans and visitors to the island are being reminded to obey the protocols and rules outlined by the Government of Jamaica to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Up to Wednesday (August 18), Jamaica had recorded 17 new COVID-19 cases, bringing to 1,146, the total number of confirmed positive cases of the virus to date.

Six of the 17 new cases are imported, arriving from the United States (US) in early July; five are contacts of confirmed cases; and six are under investigation.

Of the 17 newly confirmed cases, 11 are males and six are females, ranging in age from four months to 71 years. They have addresses in St. Thomas (7), St. James (3), St. Catherine (2), Kingston and St. Andrew (1), St. Mary (1), St. Ann (1), St. Elizabeth (1), and Manchester (1).

Under the COVID-19 protocols, all returning residents are required to abide by the 14-day quarantine order where they are only allowed to leave home once per day to carry out basic needs, such as obtaining food or medical supplies.

Persons under this measure must work from home and are not allowed to leave their homes or hotels or to attend funerals, weddings, parties or any gatherings.

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is reporting that several persons have been violating the self-quarantine rules, potentially contributing to the spread of COVID-19 in Jamaica.

Head of the Constabulary Communications Unit (CCU), Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Stephanie Lindsay, told JIS News that often “when we call, some persons did not get the (JamCOVID19) app download on their phones so we can be alerted when they leave their zones”.

Through the app, the police are able to monitor the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ database of persons who are to be in quarantine and track their location in order to ensure that they have not left home without permission from the Ministry.

“We also find that a number of persons are giving false addresses upon arrival, so when they leave their zones or fail to log their temperatures and the police check the locations, they are not found,” she added.

Persons found to be in breach of the quarantine measures can be fined up to $1 million or six months’ imprisonment.

Meanwhile, visitors to the island are reminded that upon arrival in Jamaica, all persons will be subject to health screening and risk assessment by the local health authorities.

All tourists will be allowed to go to their hotel under a Stay-in-Resilient Corridor Order from their date of entry to Jamaica. Those tested will have to stay in their rooms until their result is returned.

Visitors must remain within the hotel property in the corridor for the duration of their stay. They are not allowed to leave the hotel and go to another property.

Visitors must report symptoms to the hotel medical station. Persons who are symptomatic or become symptomatic during quarantine will be isolated and tested. Visitors who return a negative result will remain on hotel property.

As it relates to business travellers, those on short-stay are required to remain at their intended address, whether a hotel or private home, and are only allowed to leave to conduct their business meeting(s).

They are required to wear a mask in the public space, comply with the physical distancing rule and are not allowed to meet with persons aged 65 and over, to take public transportation or to attend any meeting, event or gathering of more than 20 persons.

Non-residents visiting Jamaica from the US, Brazil, Dominican Republic, and Mexico, which have all been designated as high-risk locations, are required to obtain a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test prior to arrival.

This applies to all non-residents 12 years and older, including those who are business travellers, entering the island on or after August 20 from the designated locations.

They are required to do the test within 10 days prior to their intended date of travel to Jamaica. All persons applying to enter on visitjamaica.com from the designated high-risk locations are required to upload their COVID-19 PCR test certificate as part of the application process.

This requirement is already in effect for non-residents from Arizona, Florida, New York and Texas in the US.

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