(Updated March 2021)
Like everywhere on planet earth, Jamaica was on lockdown. For weeks, they did not allow traveling to Jamaica. Only cargo ships were permitted on the Island.
On June fifteen, the borders reopened to international travelers. The Government put in strict measures for entry.
(Updated March 4, 2021) All visitors to Jamaica from 12 years old and up must do a covid test 72 hours before traveling. Negative Covid-19 PCR or Antigen test is required for boarding. This is the Government’s response to the increasing number of covid infections and death on the Island. Death has surpassed 400, and the total disease since the pandemic is nearly 50,000.
The test must be done at a medical laboratory with Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) registration or ISO 15189 certification.
Click here for information on travel Authorisation and testing guidelines. https://www.visitjamaica.com/travelauthorization/
Expect long delays at the airports.
Although travel to the Island is far below pre-COVID time, expect long delays. This is because they screen travelers at the airport, which takes time. Be cooperative and have the information ready.
Travel with entertainment to occupy your time. Music or movie on your smartphone or tablet is good. Hard or soft copies of books will help bypass time.
Wi-Fi at the airport is unreliable, so having data on your device would be great. If that is not possible, download books, movies, or music before departure. Then, charge your device or travel with a portable charger.
Quarantine and mandatory facemasks.
On arrival, Fourteen days of quarantine is mandatory. The wearing of a facemask in public spaces is compulsory. Law enforcers can arrest you under the Disaster Risk Management Act for not following the rules. It might cost you up to $1,000,000 Jamaican dollars or twelve months in prison if taken to court. Click here for the act and here for THE DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT (ENFORCEMENT MEASURES)
You are not allowed entry to any business without wearing a mask covering your mouth and nose. In addition, before entering any building, your temperature will get checked and your hands sanitized. If it is high, you will not enter.
Physical distancing is a common theme at business places; expect to stay at least six feet apart from people.
The rules put in place to control the virus can change by the Prime Minister. The Government announces changes through print and electronic media before they take effect. Rule changes that affect international travelers take longer to come into effect.
Travel to Jamaica during the pandemic_ resorts are empty
Jamaica’s all-inclusive resorts are popular among tourists. Despite its drawback, many people prefer this model. It offers a sense of security. It takes away from the stress of negotiating prices with locals for services.
These hotels that are usually buzzing are now ghost towns. Except for security and maintenance workers, most properties are empty. Even after reopening of the Island in June, resorts are far below capacity.
Hotels offer good deals & local guests.
The negative impact of the virus on Jamaica’s major markets causes resorts to offer deals. This is an opportunity for people who can afford to travel and are not afraid of the risk. You will get better rates at these overpriced hotels. Have a quiet, relaxing environment, and receive better customer service.
You are likely to meet locals. Since the influx of tourists has dropped, resorts depend on locals to fill the void.
The economy is not doing great, but many people can afford vacations. Hotels have slashed their rate for locals and are running campaigns to attract them.
Jamaica is open for travel, but you must follow government guidelines.
Before travel, you need approval from the health ministry. Apply for entry here.https://jamcovid19.moh.gov.jm/immigration.html
Negative Covid-19 PCR or Antigen test is required for boarding all 12 years old and above visitors. You must do test 3 days before travel.
Expect fourteen days of quarantine upon arrival, even if you show no sign of COVID. Quarantine violation can land you in court and a fine of up to $1,000,000 Jamaica dollars or 12 months in prison.
Expect a lengthy delay at the airport.
Wearing a mask and physical distancing is mandatory in public spaces. In addition, expect to get a temperature check and your hands sanitized before entering public buildings.
If you test positive for the virus, they will isolate and quarantine at your hotel, place of stay, or a government-run quarantine center. Then, you can leave the country after making a particular travel arrangement.
Keep these things in mind when traveling to Jamaica during the pandemic.