PM Announces Phased Reopening of Jamaica’s Borders with Strict Protocols
The Government will today (June 1, 2020) begin a phased reopening of the country’s borders.
In an address to the nation last night (Sunday, May 31), Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that effective June 1, in the first phase of the lifting of border restrictions, passenger vessels carrying Jamaican citizens will be accommodated.
In the second phase which will begin on June 15, the borders will be open to non-nationals or visitors.
In that regard, the Government will seek to implement new controlled re-entry protocols that will be based on a risk assessment of the countries from which persons are seeking to enter Jamaica and their travel routes.
“Countries that have a similar management and profile result for the epidemic regarding spread, death rate, infection prevention and control measures, contact tracing protocols and other such criteria could constitute a “travel bubble” that would determine the protocols that would apply to their entry,” said Prime Minister Holness.
Nationals seeking to re-enter Jamaica from countries within this ‘travel bubble’ may not need to be tested on arrival. However, they would be subject to health status screening.
Protocols that will be established for re-entry of nationals between June 1-14, 2020 include;
- Sensitization programme with a public health official using flyers and audio-visuals.
- Pledge document for signing (to be considered)
- Mandatory 14-day quarantine
- Persons entering from countries outside the “travel bubble” will be subject to testing.
Further to the opening of the borders to non-nationals on June 15, 2020, all persons entering Jamaica will be encouraged to undergo testing at the port of entry. The protocols regarding this mechanism have already been established.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Holness underscored that as the country moves into the next phase in the management of the pandemic and loosen some of the restrictions in order to get the country back on track, there will be increased emphasis on every Jamaican taking personal responsibility.
“Our public health professionals have provided us with guidance on the protocols that will keep us all safe. It is now up to each and every one of us to be strong fences as we transition to the new normal of living with COVID-19,” stated Prime Minister Holness.
The Prime Minister further encouraged Jamaicans to continue following the guidelines which will assist the country to quickly rebound and recover economically.