Visitors from the high-risk American states of Florida, New York, Arizona, and Texas are now required to pretest for the new coronavirus before travelling to Jamaica, says Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
Combined, the four states have recorded more than 755,000, or almost 30 per cent of, COVID-19 cases in the United States and are among Jamaica’s most important source markets. Other states may be added to list, the prime minister hinted.
The precautionary move coincides with the European Union’s mulling over whether to ban travel by Americans to its states and is a policy U-turn on the Holness administration’s initial resistance to calls by local medical professionals to impose pretesting protocols.
The new pretesting online portal becomes operational on July 1. Test results should be no older than seven days and must be uploaded to the visitjamaica.com portal, with travel commencing as of July 10.
“Visitors are required to upload a valid PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test. This will be used to determine if approval will be granted to enter Jamaica,” Holness said during a press briefing at Jamaica House on Monday evening.
He cautioned that a negative test would not mean automatic approval.