Jamaica is reopening its borders to international visitors for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday, June 15.
Like many places that have recently welcomed back tourists, the Caribbean country will require all arriving visitors to undergo a temperature check and follow local safety protocols, which include face-coverings and social distancing.
Travelers will also need to complete a travel authorization application so that officials can conduct a COVID-19 health risk assessment prior to arrival.
The initial phase of Jamaica’s reopening will see travel limited to a “coronavirus-resilient corridor” along the island’s northern coast stretching from Negril to Port Antonio that includes tourist-friendly places such as Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, among others.
The zone “will embrace all activities within that area just along the main road,” according to Jamaica Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett. “It is a manageable corridor that will be able to have easy access. But the most important thing is to be able to trace the visitors and to contain their movement.”
“It is fair that we start this phasing arrangement with a corridor that is manageable with ease,” added Bartlett. “We have the infrastructure like Hospiten, which I visited and they are dedicating an entire wing for COVID-19-related cases that may come to them, the transportation arrangement and the ease of access to communication.”
Hotels will step up cleaning efforts and designate at least one COVID-19 Safety Point Person to conduct spot checks, the Jamaica Tourist Board confirmed. Hotel staff will also undergo temperature checks at the start of each shift.
Meanwhile, restaurants will be limited to 70 percent capacity, and self-service buffets will be unavailable.
Physical distancing will be enforced on beaches and in pool areas, with group sizes limited to 10 or fewer people.
“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,” Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism, said in a 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.”
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