Jamaica’s main International travel partners such as the UK and Canada, have requested a negative Covid -19 test from travellers who are leaving the island. The USA now also requires a negative antigen or PCR test.
There are facilities that have joined with hotels to offer these tests and the price for the PCR tests can be as high as US$300 or Ja$43,000
Currently, travellers to the USA are being asked to present a negative PCR or antigen test which will cost somewhere between Ja$22000 to Ja$43000 and the antigen assessment goes for Ja$65000 to Ja$17000 when it is done privately.
The Antigen tests are a little less accurate but the turn-around time for them is faster, but the polymerase chain reaction or PCR tests are of the highest standard and they are accurate.
Minister Tufton was concerned on Monday, when he spoke about the number of Pop up Labs that have been showing up in places and the cost for these tests are very high at these facilities.
There are persons offering Covid tests at very high costs and they are not qualified, but there is not much that the Government can do to stop them. There are only 7 approved labs but currently there are many locations.
It is important for laboratories to be accredited, they get training from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The approved laboratories are mainly found in Kingston, Mandeville and Montego Bay.
The Pre-Accreditation Approval Programme, aimed at speeding up approvals is now being done by Jamaica National Agency for Accreditation, in order to reduce the number of unauthorised persons who are doing Covid-19 tests.
People can still visit the JAMCOVID-19 website to make appointments and get the test done, as the number of health centres on the island was increased recently.