Travel Restrictions Imposed by Jamaican Government Due to Coronavirus

Saturday, February 29, 2020, 10:52 AM GMT-5

The (COVID-19) or novel coronavirus has caused the authorities in Jamaica to expand travel restrictions to more countries due to the rapid spread globally. The Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton made the announcement on Thursday.

The list that was added to China which is the epicentre of the outbreak, was South Korea that has 1261 cases and 12 deaths; Italy with 322 cases of the virus and 11 deaths; Singapore with 91 cases and no deaths and Iran which has recorded 95 cases and 15 deaths.

Reports from the Ministry stated that the decision was made to add to the list based on the risk assessment and the World Health Organisation’s Situation. Most cases in those countries were due to in-country transmission.

The ministry said the situation in Japan, that is scheduled to host this Olympic Games during the Summer is under review. Japan has recorded 164 cases and one death, to date. A decision will be made later in the day as to whether Japan will be added to the list.

The expanded travel restrictions have caused all Jamaicans who have visited Italy, South Korea, Iran, and Singapore in the last 14 days to have landing privileges in accordance with the law, but they will be subject to a health assessment and quarantine.

“Persons who do not have permanent residency or marriage exemptions in Jamaica will not be granted landing privileges at any of Jamaica’s ports of entry; if they have visited Italy, South Korea, Iran, and Singapore in the last 14 days, ” the ministry said.

Non-Jamaicans who have marriage exemption and permanent residence who are landed and after visiting Italy, South Korea, Iran, and Singapore in the last 14 days will be subject to a health assessment and quarantine also.

Persons who visited any of the four countries and have been granted landing privileges and are classified by the Ministry of Health and Wellness as high-risk individuals will be quarantined in Government facilities. Those who have been assessed by the ministry as persons with low risk will be quarantined at home under supervision by the Parish Health Department.

Individuals who return from the four countries that were mentioned and who have been granted landing privileges and display any symptom of COVID-19, will be put in immediate isolation at a health facility on the island.

The ministry will continue to assess the situation due to the spread and make recommendations for the necessary adjustments based on the risk assessment as time goes by.

Reports state that as of February 26, only five of 141 persons who arrived in Jamaica after leaving China 14 days before arriving in the country, remain in quarantine in the Government facilities.

Two persons are in isolation and the ministry awaits their test results.
Four quarantine facilities are now available, in anticipation of the new arrival of persons who are traveling from the listed countries.

The National Coordinating Committee that is headed by Andrew Holness, the Prime Minister will hold it’s first meeting next week and it is expected to examine all the preparedness functions of the Government.

There are now more than 82,000 confirmed cases of the Covid 19 virus, the most of them are in mainland China and over 2,800 persons there died. Concern about the virus has grown as it has spread quickly to almost 40 countries and every continent except Antarctica. 






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