(CMR) As the Cayman Islands government remains silent on the travel bans being implemented by many around the world against the United Kingdom, Jamaica has announced this afternoon that it will be with immediate effect banning all flights into the country for an initial period of two weeks.
They are also advising Jamaican nationals not to travel to the UK at this time.
Over 40 countries have now banned UK arrivals.
The ban comes after it as revealed this weeeknd that many countries in the Europen Union had taken similar steps after a variant strain of the COVID-19 virus was said to be 70 percent more likely to infect persons. The UK also revealed on Sunday that parts of the country would be going into a level 4 lockdown during the Christmas holidays.
The variant was first discovered in September but has become a concern now because it has become the dominant variant in the UK. It does not appear that it is any more lethal or any more dangerous than the normal coronavirus.
By Monday, dozens of countries across Europe, the Middle East and the Americas had announced travel bans for the UK. Others, such as Greece and Spain, have imposed restrictions that require travelers arriving from Britain to undergo coronavirus tests or quarantine. Russia and India have also followed suit late on Monday.
Canada announced a travel ban from midnight Sunday for at least 72 hours. In South America, Argentina, Chile and Colombia have all suspended direct flights to and from the UK, and El Salvador has banned anyone entering the country from Britain.
Hong Kong became the first place in Asia to restrict British travelers on Monday. In the Middle East, flights from the UK were barred in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel.
The Jamaican ban will be implemented after Tuesday, December 22 allowing any remaining flights in and out of the country in the next 24 hours to run as scheduled.
The press release from the Ministry of Health & Wellness also noted that passengers on those flights will be subjected to a minimum 48-hour state quarantine and PCR testing upon arrival in Jamaica. Passengers who test negative will be fitted with a monitoring armband and released to complete their 14-day quarantine at home. Anyone who tests positive will be placed in a mandatory state isolation facility until recovered.
Any family members can plan on picking up relatives after the initial 48-hour minimum quarantine. Anyone traveling into Jamaica via UK will be subjected to the same requirements.
The variant has many considered as UK Prime Minister held an emergency meeting with ministers on Monday. Many countries were refusing to even supply the UK with supplies and caused a “chaotic border shutdown”. The border control has included planes, trucks, etc. in and out of the UK.
There was also a meeting with EU member states that would allow imports and exports to continue. About 10,000 trucks pass through the English channel this time of year taking both food and medicine. Many truckers have concerns about not being able to get back home to their families during this time. They are attempting to work out a health protocol so that transportation channels can be at least partially reopened.
In the Cayman Islands today, the government has made no statement on any possible travel bans. Instead, they held a press briefing today about a private sector partnership for the building of a new medical tourism facility.
Five new positive cases were confirmed today in Grand Cayman. The next scheduled BA flight from the UK will be on January 4.