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Effective July 1, persons who are applying to travel to Jamaica from high-risk states in the United States (US) will have to pretest for the coronavirus (COVID-19) and submit the results in order for their application for entry to be considered.

Visitors from Florida, Arizona, New York and Texas, which have been declared as high-risk areas by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, will be required to do the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

Those who were approved for travel before July 1 and are arriving on or after July 10 will be required to present their PCR test.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, made the disclosure at a virtual press conference from the Office of the Prime Minister Media Centre in Kingston on Monday (June 29).

“So persons registering to visit Jamaica on the visitjamaica website, coming from these areas, as of July 1 will be required to upload a valid PCR test, which must be no more than seven days old from the expected date of their arrival,” he noted.

“Now, approval for travel to Jamaica will be subject to the upload of this valid PCR test,” he reiterated.

The Prime Minister said that while the result of the test will determine approval for entry, a negative test does not automatically mean that the applicant will be approved for travel to the island as there are other factors to consider. However, he said a positive test will obviously not be approved.

“If you know that you are positive, we urge you to reconsider your travel. If you know you have been exposed and you are in high-risk areas, then don’t go and seek to travel at this time,” he appealed.

In the meantime, the Prime Minister said all arriving passengers will still be subject to health screening and risk-based assessment at ports of entry.

Further, he said that Jamaicans and non-Jamaicans who will be staying outside of the resilient corridor while in the island will be required to register for a PCR test, if during their screening it is found that they are coming from a high-risk area and have been among a high-risk group.

These persons, he indicated, will be sent home on quarantine orders and will be required to visit the nearest health centre to have the test done.

If the test is negative, they will either be placed under quarantine or under stay-at-home order, and if positive, they will either be isolated at home or in a government facility.

“It is important that Jamaicans understand that we are not abandoning testing. Testing will be done, but in order to ensure that we can test everyone coming in, this is the best way to facilitate the testing,” said the Prime Minister.

“We certainly could not test 1,500 people coming on a daily basis at the airport. That is not possible based on the resources that we have. It is best that they go home, quarantine and then test,” he noted.

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