Wed | Jan 20, 2021

Jamaica to ramp up COVID testing capacity amid increasing travel requests

Published:Tuesday | January 12, 2021 | 7:43 PM
Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says the growing changes in testing requirements within the travel industry will cause a setback in the economic recovery of small vulnerable destinations globally.

Jamaica is to ramp up its COVID-19 testing capacity amid expected changes in testing requirements by the United States.

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said the new requirement is understandable as the US seeks to reduce the spread of the deadly virus.

Earlier today media entities such as the Wall Street Journal, reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is planning to issue an order for all airline passengers from international destinations to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before boarding flights to the US.

The new order is expected to take effect on January 26, 2021.

READ: US expected to require negative COVID-19 tests for international travellers

Already, the governments of Canada and the UK have been requiring all persons flying to those countries to present negative test results to enter or to avoid self-quarantine.

Bartlett said his ministry is working closely with the Health Ministry, the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association as well as private labs and other key stakeholders to establish more testing facilities.

In the meantime, Bartlett said the growing changes in testing requirements within the travel industry will cause a setback in the economic recovery of small vulnerable destinations globally.

"We will, however, continue to work closely with all local and international tourism partners, to ensure the safety of our citizens and visitors," said Bartlett.    

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