Tue | Jul 7, 2020

New COVID pre-testing requirement for some US visitors

Published:Monday | June 29, 2020 | 12:00 AM
Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced new COVID pre-testing requirements for visitors to Jamaica from high-risk US states.

At a press conference at Jamaica House on Monday, Holness said as of July 10, people visiting Jamaica from Florida, New York, Arizona and Texas must upload the results of their COVID tests to the visitjamaica website before their landing may be approved.

The test must not be older than seven days before the date of travel.

According to Holness, Jamaica has to implement the measure as it prepares to welcome more people to the island.

He says the country is now expecting 22 flights a day with 1,680 passengers.

Other people returning to the island will be screened at the airport.

They will also be expected to complete testing here and to remain at home until the results are made available.

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton said the new pre-testing requirement will ease the pressure on the local staff.

In the meantime, chief medical officer Dr Jaquiline Bisasor McKenzie has conceded that there is a backlog in testing samples.

She said this is because of “challenges” in procuring supplies for the COBAS machine that has the capacity to process samples much faster than the other machines in the system.

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