Government adds six South American countries to travel ban

Published:Thursday | April 1, 2021 | 12:23 AM

The Government has expanded the current travel restrictions and protocols applicable to travellers from the United Kingdom to include Brazil, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Argentina and Paraguay as the island grapples with a high number of active COVID-19 cases.

In a release on Wednesday evening, the Government said that this decision came after a review of the situation in South America, where several countries were experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases and the increasing number of countries with the Brazilian variants. The World Health Organization has classified one of the strains as a variant of concern and another as a variant of interest, the release noted.

“Jamaica is at a critical juncture in the COVID-19 pandemic; we are experiencing a second surge of cases that has threatened to overwhelm our healthcare system. The restrictions on the specified countries are to decrease the likelihood of entry of the more transmissible variants to Jamaica,” it continued.

The new restrictions become effective on April 1 and will run through to April 13.

Under the restrictions, all non-Jamaicans who have been in the UK, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Argentina and Paraguay within 14 days prior to intended arrival date in Jamaica will not be permitted to enter Jamaica.

Jamaicans who have been in the UK, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Argentina and Paraguay within the 14 days prior to intended arrival date, who seek to enter the island through another country, will be tested and detained in state quarantine at their own expense for a minimum of 48 hours until the results are returned. If negative, they will be allowed to transfer to home quarantine to complete the 14-day mandatory quarantine period. If positive, they will remain in isolation at a location that is approved by the Ministry of Health and Wellness.