Fri | Aug 14, 2020

Task force pushes Gov’t to reopen borders

Published:Saturday | May 30, 2020 | 12:00 AM

THE DR Nigel Clarke-chaired COVID-19 Economic Recovery Taskforce has recommended that the Government relax recently implemented border closure measures to kick-start the process of improving the country’s finances.

“This includes 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,” the task force stated.

The Cabinet-approved multisectoral task force is responsible for overseeing the recovery of the country’s economy from COVID-19. It noted the recent projections of the Planning Institute of Jamaica for economic contraction of 12 per cent to 14 per cent for the quarter April 2020-June 2020, as well as the latest updates from the Ministry of Health & Wellness.

“All Jamaicans have an interest in Jamaica’s economic recovery and public health safety. These are not mutually exclusive objectives, but rather they are complementary imperatives,” the task force said in a release to the media.

“The path to economic recovery will not be quick, but it should begin now while observing appropriate health protocols. The COVID-19 Economic Recovery Taskforce recognises that attaining the levels of economic output and employment that we had pre-COVID-19 will take some time to attain once more,” it said.

The task force believes it is important to gradually adjust border restrictions since trade in goods and services account for approximately 80 per cent of GDP.