Fri | Jul 3, 2020

COVID recovery taskforce wants border closure measures relaxed

Published:Friday | May 29, 2020 | 12:02 PM

The COVID-19 Economic Recovery Taskforce set up by the government is recommending a relaxation of border closure measures.

The government banned incoming passenger travel in March.

The taskforce says it wants to see the phased opening of international airports, first to Jamaicans who wish to return, and then to others under “new normal” procedures at all times consistent with public health guidance.

It contends that attaining the levels of economic output and employment that were seen in pre-COVID-19 will take some time to attain once more.

Noting that Jamaica is a very open economy, the taskforce outlined that trade in goods and services account for approximately 80% of Gross Domestic Product.

Against that background, it is arguing that it is impossible for economic recovery to begin without a gradual adjustment to border restrictions.

Meanwhile, taskforce indicated that it has established a working group consisting of labour, health and productive sector specialists, which it says is far advanced in the development of protocols designed to protect the health of workers while allowing them to provide for their families.

It says the protocols will provide the basis for a timely reopening, adding that they will be published and disseminated within the next week.

In addition, the Ministry of Health and Wellness has signalled to the taskforce that it stands ready to work with all other stakeholders to achieve the objectives of economic recovery.

The taskforce says it continues its work to develop policy and other recommendations that provide the best opportunity for Jamaica’s economic and jobs recovery.

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