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Jamaica: Tourists Have Choice To Test For COVID-19

There will be no pretesting or quarantining of visitors to Jamaica when the island reopens its borders for international travel on Monday, June 15.

Jamaica closed its borders on March 24 to flatten the curve of the coronavirus disease, which has infected 586 nationals, nine fatally. The travel restrictions have shuttered scores of hotels and guest houses locally and haemorrhaged an estimated 300,000 direct and indirect tourism-related jobs.

Disclosing new protocols on entry into the island, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, during a press conference at Jamaica House on Sunday evening, said that the country did not have the human-resource and fiscal capacity to carry out testing for the virus at its three international airports and several seaports.

“It will place a strain on the public-health system. It is just not feasible to test flights with 200-300 passengers coming in at the same time,” he said in response to a question posed by The Gleaner.

However, the prime minister said that there would be provisions for persons who wished to be tested voluntarily.

According to the prime minister, passengers will go through temperature checks and a process of sensitisation. Both visitors and staff who display temperatures higher than 100.3 degrees Fahrenheit and/or flu-like symptoms will be flagged by airport, hotel, attraction, and transportation staff for secondary health checks in designated spaces, which may be referred for review to the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

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