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News > Jamaica

Jamaica Gets Ready to Open to Tourists Next Week Amid COVID-19

  • Tourists arriving at Port Royal, Jamaica on January 2020.

    Tourists arriving at Port Royal, Jamaica on January 2020. | Photo: facebook/edmund bartlett

Published 8 June 2020

The country will reopen its borders allowing tourism on June 15 as the industry accounts for up to 34 percent of Jamaica’s GDP.

Jamaica's Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett announced that the country is making the final arrangements to receive international travelers from Monday next week, as the island opened its borders for the repatriation of nationals since June 1.


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Bartlett had previously revealed the so-called "Five Point Recovery Plan for Tourism," which includes robust health and safety protocols, training for all segments of the sectors to manage the new set of measures, and building a COVID-19 safety and security infrastructure.

The ministry of tourism has held conversations with insurance and global logistics providers to allow travelers who test positive to COVID-19 to be immediately isolated and repatriated.

During a digital press conference, the official remarked that Jamaica is probably the first country in the Caribbean to begin negotiations and discussions with international providers.

“I want to make the point that we have done checks around and Jamaica is the only country in the Caribbean and arguably, the only one in the Americas that has taken on this responsibility now, to begin those negotiations and discussions with insurance and global logistics providers," he added.

The country had been closed off to both sea and air arrivals since March 21, 2020. Very strict isolation, curfews, and local restrictions were implemented as well to curve the effect of COVID-19.

Although the World Health Organization has warned about the fast-speed contagion of the pandemic worldwide, Jamaica's government is taking the steps to assist over 350,000 pandemic-displaced workers and the many tourism businesses that are at severe economic risk as the industry accounts for up to 34 percent of Jamaica’s GDP.

“I am mindful of the public sentiment that we are moving too fast and this will pose a health risk to the Jamaican people. I want to assure you that the reopening will be carried out safely and in a way, that protects our frontline tourism workers, Jamaican citizens, and our visitors", Bartlett reassured the public.

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