Jamaica has announced a change to its entry protocols for arriving visitors.
Some visitors will be required to have coronavirus testing done prior to arriving on the island.
The country's Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, made the announcement on Monday (June 29) while speaking at a coronavirus press conference.
According to Holness, the current entry protocol, which requires all arriving passengers to be tested on arrival, is unsustainable, particularly because of the number of people arriving in the island by air.
Holness revealed that since the country opened its borders on June 1, approximately 14,600 persons have arrived on the island. Holness went on to say that on average five flights with about 410 passengers arrived per day.
The PM says come July he expects the number of arrivals to increase and as such the government was reconfiguring its entry protocols.
Come July 10, the PM said that visitors to Jamaica from areas declared as high risk, defined as those from the states of Florida, New York, Arizona, and Texas, would be required to upload results from their COVID-19 test to the visit Jamaica website.
The PCR test must be no more than seven days old from the expected date of their arrival.
Once uploaded the Ministry of Health and Wellness will make a determination on whether or not to grant the individual entry into the country.
“But obviously, if you upload a test that is negative, that doesn't mean you will be automatically approved. We still look at other things, but it is highly likely you'll be approved, ” said Holness.
Holness further said that others arriving in the island would be required to make an appointment at one at a PCR test location.
“So, non-Jamaicans, and Jamaicans who are coming home, they are not going to resorts, they're coming to be amongst the general population. At the airport, they will be screened. Now clearly, if we screen them out They are showing symptoms. They would have to be isolated. So they would then come under the protocols of the Ministry of Health and that would include testing as well, ” explained Holness.
“If the physical observation does not reveal anything, but the assessment of where they're coming from the group to which they are a member reveals that they are high risk; then they will be required to register, make an appointment for their PCR test. They will go home, but they are under quarantine orders. So the arrangement is we send you home and you're under quarantine orders. You then do your test. That is you go to your nearest health facility, you go back home. Under quarantine orders, you await your test results, “added Holness.