Last Updated: June 18, 2020
With new safety protocols Jamaica reopens its borders on June 15. Arrivals from High Risk countries are subject to screening and testing. All travelers are required to complete a Travel Authorization form within 72 hours of departure to Jamaica http://visitjamaica.com/travelauthorization
Download the Travel Information documents here: Ready, Set, Lets Go!
Destination Jamaica strives to provide factual, up-to-date information to ensure our visitors can make informed travel decisions. Below you can find information and resources to help you make those decisions, and anything else you may need to know about to travel to and within Jamaica.
Re-Opening of National Borders for Air Travel
RE-OPENING OF JAMAICA'S BORDERS FOR AIR TRAVEL
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Reopening the Borders
Q. When will the borders be re-opened to Visitors?
A. Beginning June 15, the Jamaican borders will be opened to Visitors. Controlled entry will be facilitated by registration and approval.
Q. Won’t opening our borders increase the number of COVID-19 cases in Jamaica?
A. Until we have mass access to a vaccine, we cannot eliminate the risk entirely. So,for now, we must use our available resources in a targeted way to manage and mitigate the risks as we restart our economy and bring it back to full productive capacity as quickly as possible. This must be done in the safest way possible that protects lives while securing our livelihoods.
Q. What will happen if we see a spike in COVID cases once the borders re-open? Will we close the country to visitors again?
A. The decision to reopen was made with extreme caution, expert counsel and evidence-based information. Jamaica continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation on-island as well as globally. We cannot anticipate what will happen with the changing landscape and updated information from health officials and experts, but public health and safety will always remain our top concern and the driving force for decisions made regarding our borders.
Q. Is Jamaica prepared to handle a resurgence in COVID cases? What has been done to prepare?
A. We are working hand in hand with the Ministry of Health & Wellness as well as with health facilities on rapid response protocols to implement when a COVID-19 case is identified. We are also in late stage discussions with insurance and logistics providers for coverage of health costs, extended hotel stays, and medevac if needed.
A. All of our protocols are intended to be dynamic. We will revisit our protocols every two weeks, which is consistent with the government's approach of evaluating the COVID -19 global situation. As we learn more about the virus, as medical advancements occur, or as the risk profile changes, we will make any necessary and appropriate revision to our protocols. Part of being resilient is being agile, and in a crisis this is more important than ever.
Entry Screening and Testing
Q. What is the timeline for these re-entry measures?
A. These measures relate to persons entering the country from June 15 to June 30.
Q. Who gets tested when they enter the country?
A. The Ministry of Health & Wellness is working in collaboration with the Airports Authority of Jamaica to ensure that airport operators will continue to screen, test and monitor all passengers arriving to the destination. All high-risk persons entering Jamaica will undergo a test for COVID-19. High risk persons are those persons travelling from, or through countries where there is high community transmission. Testing applies to Nationals as well as to visitors. The health and safety of our residents and visitors remain Jamaica’s top priorities as we reopen our borders.
Q. Will a non-resident guest who tests positive and their immediate travelling party be quarantined for 14 days regardless of their original length of stay?
A. If one member of a travelling party tests positive for COVID-19 on arrival, the person who tested positive will be isolated in a public health facility for a minimum period of 14 days, or until they are able to produce two consecutive negative tests in a 48-hour period.
A. The Ministry of Health and Wellness is presently seeking to identify private facilities as an options for visitors to chose if they have a preference with the caveat that there will be a cost associated with any private facilities versus free for the public healthcare facility.
A. The other members of the travelling party will be required to “stay in place” at the accommodation facility and have a daily check in with an assigned public health Official until the end of their scheduled stay, at which time they may check out and return home.
Q. Where is the Resilient Corridor?
A. In order to manage the risk, we are opening the industry in phases. In the first phase, we have opened a Resilient Corridor following the main thoroughfare which runs from Negril along the north coast to Portland. A second Resilient Corridor is the Kingston Business District (New Kingston and environs) which will be open to business travellers.
Q. Where are visitors allowed to stay during this period?
A. For the period, accommodation facilities located on the beach side of the main thoroughfare from Negril to Portland; those in the Kingston Business District will be allowed to accept guests; and private homes may be used. Note that only properties which have received a COVID-19 Compliant Certificate will open on June 15. For persons staying in Private Homes, they are allowed to leave only to conduct their business meeting(s). They are not allowed to meet with persons aged 65 and over, to take public transportation or to attend any meeting, event or gathering of more than 10 persons.
A. As the product quality authority assesses each accommodation facility, the list will be updated daily on the Travel Authorization page on www.visitjamaica.com.
Q. Why can’t visitors book any hotel of their choice? Are more hotels being added to the list?
A. All our measures are designed to assist with the assessment and monitoring of any spread of the virus. As this is Phase 1 of the controlled reopening of our borders to international visitors, the Ministry of Health and Wellness has determined that only properties which are assessed as COVID-19 Compliant will be allowed to take guests. The list of compliant properties is updated daily at www.visitjamaica.com/travelauthorization.
Q. Why is the Jamaican government instituting a travel authorization?
A. The Jamaican government, through the Ministry of Health and Wellness, has an obligation to assess and monitor the health risks of all travellers to the island.
A. The travel authorization provides a first line of risk management for travellers from countries with community transmission of the virus.
Q. Who needs to register and get approval to enter the island?
A. All persons intending to travel to Jamaica are required to get the pre-approval. This includes both Nationals and Non-nationals.
Q. Do Jamaicans have a different approval process?
A. No, the path taken will depend on the responses to the questions.
Q. How and where do I get approval to travel to Jamaica?
A. Registration and approval will be done online at www.visitjamaica.com/travelauthorization/
Q. When can I request the travel authorization?
A. The Jamaican health regulations require that the approval is issued a maximum of 72 hours before arrival in Jamaica.
Q. How long does it take to obtain the Travel Authorization?
A. A response will be generated within 10 minutes of receipt of the submission.
Q. For how long is the Travel Authorization valid?
A. The approval is valid for 7 days.
Q. What if I do not get approval before I travel?
A. If you do not have the approved Travel Authorization, you will not be allowed to check in for your flight.
Q. Can I check in on-line through my airline’s website with my approved Travel Authorization or will I have to check-in at the airport?
A. On arrival at the airport, an Airline Representative will ask to see your Travel Approval to Jamaica before you are allowed to board the aircraft.
Q. What kind of information is needed for the Travel Authorization to be approved?
A. The questions will relate to your passport information, your possible exposure to COVID-19 and your intended place of stay in Jamaica.
Q. What if I provide false information?
A. This is a legal requirement. Any false information supplied may have consequences under Jamaican law.
Q. Where will this data reside? Will my data be used for marketing purposes?
A. The data resides on the EGov system, a secure platform. The sole use of this information is to assist with the risk assessment of all travellers to Jamaica.
Q. Is a printout of my Travel Authorization required? What if I forgot my approval certificate when I go to the airport or lose it during my travel to Jamaica?
A. You will be required to show the Travel Authorization at check-in whether in print or on an electronic device.
A. The Travel Authorization can be saved electronically on your phone / tablet or can be printed and presented with your travel documents.
Q. What if I am denied approval? How long do I need to wait to apply again?
A. You may apply again after 14 days.
Q. If I am not approved, will the airline be required to rebook me?
A. Your ability to rebook will be dependent on the restrictions on the air ticket purchased.
Q. Does the Travel Authorization have any length of stay requirement or restrictions?
A. No. Whether you are staying overnight or longer does not matter. You will still need the travel authorization.
Q. Who will enforce the Travel Authorization?
A. Three sets of persons will enforce the Travel Authorization. The Airline will need to see the approval before you are allowed to check in for your flight.
A. Officers of the Ministry of Health and Wellness will also use it in their risk assessment.
A. Immigration Officers will also see it before you are landed.
Q. Will individuals from the Caribbean be required to get approval for travel to Jamaica?
A. Yes. All persons intending to travel to Jamaica require the Travel Authorization.
Q. What if I have travelled from another country to a “bubble” country, from which I am entering Jamaica. Do I still need the approval?
Q. How did Jamaica arrive at the protocols being put in place for the tourist industry?
A. The Jamaican government worked closely with and continues to work in partnership with international organizations to develop public health-focused tourism protocols. These protocols were designed based on benchmarks of nearly 20 markets globally and global health agencies. They were also based on extensive consultations with the Ministries of Health and Wellness, National Security and Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, as well as the private sector, the unions, and our international partners within and beyond the tourist industry, including WTTC, the CDC, The World Bank, PWC, and development finance
Q. Will these protocols keep hospitality workers safe?
A. Our robust protocols are carefully designed to prevent transmission of COVID-19 and include health screening before entry and upon entry, the wearing of masks in public spaces for tourists and workers, PPE for workers based on job description, frequent use of sanitizers and hand washing stations, and physical distancing.
Q. What are these protocols?
A. We have designed an extensive set of operational protocols to manage risks to workers, communities and travelers across the lifecycle of prevention, detection and response. Safety is paramount to a resilient and sustainable tourism sector.
A. Beyond the airports, Jamaica has nine fundamental protocol elements that TPDCo is working with businesses to implement.
Sanitization for all workers, tourists and surroundings; face masks and
PPE for workers and tourists in public places;
Physical distancing, allowing people to be together but physically apart;
frequent communications and messaging to ensure transparency;
Enhanced digital enablement across the industry, to allow for more
Real-time health monitoring and reporting in conjunction with the
Ministry of Health, including solutions for quick isolation and
containment as needed;
Rapid response in the event of a positive test;
Training to ensure workers and communities can implement protocols
properly and thoroughly.
Q.Where can we find the protocols? Are they available online?
A. The Tourism Protocols are available. In addition to being distributed by email, they are housed on https://jtbonline.org. The Airport Protocols are also housedin the same space.
Q. Will employers supply hospitality workers with PPE or will it be on the employee to protect themselves?
A. Employers will provide hospitality workers with the proper PPE appropriate for their specific responsibilities. Concurrently, employees will be personally accountable and required to adhere to safety measures and regulations as dictated by their place of work including strict hygiene practices and proper physical distancing to ensure a safe environment for all.
Q. Are you prepared to contain people within hotel properties if any individual property has a breakout?
A. Each accommodation facility is required to have safety protocols and regulations in place and properly train all staff. To detect cases which might develop, we have included temperature checks, on-going health screening, trained onsite medical professionals or COVID-19 Safety Point Persons at each property,isolation areas at each property, and risk-based testing as appropriate.
A. The Ministry of Health will collaborate with hotels for on-going monitoring and assessment. If there are suspected or confirmed cased of the virus, persons will be isolated and managed.
Q. How do the protocols affect ground transportation?
A.Transportation services which provide airport transfers are allowed to operate within the established protocols.
Q. Are visitors allowed to go shopping?
A. During the period leading up to June 30, shopping will be allowed only in shops operating on a hotel property. Craft markets and stand-alone shops are not open at this time.
Q. Will I have a full Jamaican experience if I can’t visit local restaurants, bars, attractions and tours?
A. It is our hope that every visitor to our island will have a rich and heartfelt experience regardless of how many sites he/she has visited. In this first phase of opening to international visitors, only compliant accommodation facilities within the Resilient Corridor will be open to guests. Remember, Jamaica’s reputation is built on a tradition of warm hospitality and this will be extended to our guests at
Q. Are beaches open?
A. Public beaches are opened from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
PREVENTION AND PLANNING
The Ministry of Health is actively monitoring the current outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and working with the World Health Organization and other international partners.
Protocols for the Jamaican Tourism Sector: Click Here
Please contact your airline for the latest information.
- Southwest has issued is new Southwest Promise
- Condor (DE2162) FRA to MBJ (DE2163) MBJ to FRA is slated to return service October 2020 pending government approval. Condor update here.
- Air Canada has issued a response to COVID-19 here.
- WestJet has issued a response to COVID-19 here.
- American Airlines issued a response to COVID-19 here.
- Jet Blue issued a response to COVID-19 here.
TRAVEL AGENTS and TOUR OPERATORS
Read the latest bulletins about the measures the Government is taking in response to COVID-19, as well the previous updates on JTBOnline, here.
- Bulletin # 12 –March 30, 2020
- Bulletin # 11 –March 30, 2020
- Bulletin # 8 –March 30, 2020
- Bulletin #7 – March 19, 2020
- Bulletin #6 – March 18, 2020
- Bulletin #5 – March 17, 2020
- Bulletin #4 – March 14, 2020
- Bulletin #3 – March 13, 2020
- Bulletin #2 – March 12, 2020
All Cruises with port of call in Jamaica has been suspended.
SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION WHILE IN JAMAICA
All travellers who are visiting Jamaica and begin to feel ill can seek medical attention at local hospitals. If you suspect that you might have coronavirus symptoms, you must provide health-care professionals with the following info (via phone): Symptoms, Travel History, and If you had close contact with a sick person, especially someone who has shown symptoms of the coronavirus
- General Health Information: Ministry of Health Hotline 8886635683, 8887547792, 8765425998, 8765426006 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jamaica Tourist Board: email@example.com