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Some tourist required to upload COVID-19 test results as Jamaica amends entry protocols

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has said that come July 10, some tourist would be required to upload the results of their COVID-19 tests in order to qualify for entry into Jamaica.

Holness made the announcement while speaking at a COVID-19 press briefing on Monday evening (June 29)

The Prime Minister admitted that the current protocols, in which all visitors and others arriving into the island are tested for the coronavirus, are unsustainable and that entry protocols would be reconfigured.

“But you can imagine the resource constraints that we would face to keep the same levels of controlled re-entry that we have kept through the month of June, we did that very high-level control protocol so that we could establish very stringent criteria, ” said Holness.

Holness explained that the initial measures were used as a gauge to determine the level of risk that the population faced from the re-entry program.

“We know in keeping with our evidence-based management, what the risk is. we budgeted 2.5% positive rate we ended up at somewhere At about 0.7.  It doesn’t mean that we drop our guard. It doesn’t mean that we don’t need to have protocols in place. What it means, however, is that we can reconfigure the limited resources that we have because, in order for us to have done this, that is to put in place this very robust control entry protocol is that we have had to move resources from the interior, “said Holness.

“Operating at that kind of manpower and capacity, that is not something that we can do forever, ” added Holness.

According to Holness,  all arriving passengers would still be subject to a health screening and risk assessment on arrival at the port of entry.

However, visitors to Jamaica from areas declared as high risk, which included, Florida, New York, Arizona, and Texas, would be required to upload a valid PCR test, which must be no more than seven days old from the expected date of their arrival.

“Now approval for travel to Jamaica under visit Jamaica website will be subject to the upload of this valid PCR test. As of July 10 Persons visiting Jamaica, that is a non-resident, from the declared high-risk areas, will be required to present their PCR test, ” said Holness.

“But obviously, if you upload a test that is negative, that doesn’t mean you will be automatically approved. We still look at other things, but it is highly likely you’ll be approved. But certainly, if you upload a test that is positive, then we would not approve, ” added Holness.

Holness further explained that for Jamaican residents and those staying outside of the resilient corridor, they would be required to make an appointment at a testing location to do the PCR test.

Jamaica reopened its borders on June 1 after they had been closed on March 24 to incoming passengers as a means of containing the spread of COVID-19.

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