As Jamaica closed its borders to United Kingdom flights on Monday, the country’s largest lobby of hoteliers and tour operators has thrown its weight behind the Holness administration’s decision to shut out British travellers amid the emergence of an ultra-contagious strain of the coronavirus that marked the territory as the sick man of Europe.
The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA), whose members stand to benefit most from UK tourist arrivals to the island, acknowledged on Monday that the Government was obligated to protect its citizens from a variant of the coronavirus that was still an unknown entity globally.
The travel ban, introduced Monday, will last for two weeks, ending January 4, 2021. However, a flight that came into the country Monday evening and outbound flights will be allowed up to midnight Tuesday night.
Both British Airways (BA) and Virgin Atlantic, with twice-weekly and thrice-weekly flights into the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, have suspended service until further notice.
Later on Tuesday, Virgin Atlantic will operate a repatriation flight for British nationals who are already on the island. The same flight will also transport cargo.