Sat | Jun 6, 2020

Border restrictions remain but Jamaicans flying from Antigua granted landing

Published:Thursday | April 23, 2020 | 12:00 AM
Johnson Smith: We know there are many of you who are anxious to be home, and we too cannot wait to welcome you back to Jamaica.

Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith has sought to dispel claims that Jamaica’s borders have reopened to incoming passenger traffic.

At the time, she is reporting that a "small" group of Jamaicans stuck in Antigua are to be flown back here as part of protocol announced by the government.

The claim about the reopening of the borders has been making the rounds on social media.

Johnson Smith said it may have been because of a misinterpretation of a paragraph of the Disaster Risk Management Act (No.4 Order).

"The Order has to be read as a whole and recognising that it is part of a legal framework addressing the highly infectious COVID -19 disease," said Johnson Smith.

The government has announced the controlled re-entry of Jamaicans but has not yet provided the detail of the protocol or the start up date.

Johnson Smith said the small group of Jamaicans now stranded in Antigua will be allowed to come home under that initiative.

It is not clear when the flight with the Jamaicans will arrive, but the foreign minister said they will have to go into mandatory state quarantine.

"This flight will serve as a pilot of the new protocols, prior to their formal implementation," said Johnson Smith.

She said the plane will take back a group of Antiguans who have been stuck in Jamaica.

The minister has promised full information on the controlled re-entry process shortly. 

"We know there are many of you who are anxious to be home, and we too cannot wait to welcome you back to Jamaica. But we need to be careful and to ensure that your re-entry is safe for you, for our health workers and for the whole of Jamaica," she said in a statement.

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