Thu | Jul 2, 2020

JHTA calls for clarification on COVID pretesting regime

Published:Tuesday | June 30, 2020 | 3:49 PM
Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) President Omar Robinson - File photo

Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) President Omar Robinson says there needs to be further clarification on the pretesting regime for visitors from certain American states as part of Jamaica’s COVID-19-prevention measures.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday indicated that visitors from Florida, New York, Arizona, and Texas are now required to pretest for the coronavirus before travelling to Jamaica.

READ: New hurdle for visitors from high-risk COVID US states

The new pretesting online portal becomes operational on July 1.

Test results should be no older than seven days and must be uploaded to the portal, with travel commencing as of July 10.

Robinson says the JHTA is pleased with the change as the association had supported COVID pretesting.

He highlighted that testing on arrival was not sustainable and would result in increased anxiety for travellers.

While supporting the new position, the JHTA head says the pretesting requirement has resulted in some amount of confusion that needs to be addressed.

“[There are] some questions to be answered, [such as]  how to discern or validate from which state visitors are from when they have connecting flights through one of the named states? What will happen to visitors travelling from July 1 to July 9? Should there be additional states, or should it be the entire US? So the details need to be worked out as this is causing some confusion already, and it clearly needs to be sorted out so that we can explain [the arrangements] to our travel partners,” said Robinson.

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