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Jamaica Set to Reopen June 15

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Jamaica has announced it will reopen its borders for international travelers on June 15. According to the Jamaica Tourist Board, the country is currently repatriating 8,000 Jamaican nationals who have been stranded overseas due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions.

Additionally, an extensive set of operational protocols were announced, including health screening before entry and upon entry, which will be implemented to manage risks to workers, communities and travelers. From planning the trip to enjoying the destination, the protocols address all stages of the visitors’ journey, incorporating the lifecycle of prevention, detection and response.

The tourist board underscored that safety is paramount to a resilient and sustainable tourism sector. As the nation’s largest economic engine, Jamaica’s tourist industry employs 130,000 workers, and impacts an additional 120,000 jobs from other industries (water, agriculture, power, among others), fueling more than one third of the country’s economy.

“Tourism is the lifeblood of our local economy, and with the help of international experts and a dedicated task force, we have developed protocols that allow us to safely reopen our borders,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s director of tourism, in a prepared statement. “We are confident that as we restart our economy, Jamaicans will work together to ensure a safe, secure and seamless experience for our tourism workers, their families, and visitors, while preserving the authentic experiences travelers seek when they visit our shores.”

Through June 14, Jamaicans returning to the island will undergo temperature checks and a screening with public health officials. They will need to quarantine at home for 14 days and monitored with phone or wristband geofencing. After June 15, all visitors will be screened via thermal temperature checks and symptom observation. If a temperature is elevated, the visitor will be subject to additional screening, including testing, if needed. Any visitor who exhibits symptoms or is ill will be subject to quarantine.

The health and safety protocols will be revisited every two weeks, the tourist board stated, consistent with the government's approach of evaluating the COVID-19 global situation. As more is discovered about the virus including medical advancements or as the risk profile changes, any necessary and appropriate revision to the protocols will be made.

The Jamaican government has worked closely with international partners to develop the public health-focused tourism protocols.

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