Sun | Apr 11, 2021

Bartlett says Jamaica ready for COVID test requirements for US travellers

Published:Friday | January 22, 2021 | 8:33 PM
Bartlett: All visitors who come to Jamaica will be able to access approved testing arrangements to enable them to fulfill the requirements of their respective countries for re-entry.

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says Jamaica is ready to meet the demand for COVID-19 testing for travellers to the United States.

The new requirement becomes effective on Tuesday. 

It demands that travellers to the US present a negative test result before departure.

WATCH: Bartlett says Jamaica ready for COVID travel testing

On arrival, they will also be subjected to 14 days quarantine.

Testing requirements were previously introduced by the governments of Canada and the UK to facilitate entry or to avoid self-quarantine.

According to Bartlett, the infrastructure has been bolstered to meet the demand for testing.

"All visitors who come to Jamaica will be able to access approved testing arrangements to enable them to fulfill the requirements of their respective countries for re-entry," he said.

There had previously been concern that Canadian travellers were not able to secure testing here.

READ: Travellers in limbo as labs overwhelmed 

However, according to Bartlett, driven by a special task force he recently developed, there have been improvements to the testing framework.

"The task force has done quite a lot of work, which includes taking steps to assess and determine the capacity to respond to the need for testing of all visitors going back to their country and I am pleased to say that that work is completed," said Bartlett.

He said they were able to assist in securing accreditation and resources for labs to do COVID testing.

Testing facilities are in place at all of the country’s major hotels and transportation arrangements are in place to facilitate the movement of visitors to the closest testing centre, if one is not available on property, said Bartlett. 

He said visitors will also have the option to pay for the tests prior to their arrival at the facilities and that a policy is being developed for visitors who test positive ahead of their departure from the island.

"For visitors who test positive, we have a positive care programme that is being structured. The hotels will be the first responders by allowing the visitors to stay on property in a designated area throughout the period, especially if they are asymptomatic, to fulfill the requirements to enable them to go back home,” he said.

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