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Gov’t scraps PCR hurdle for asymptomatic travellers

Published:Friday | January 14, 2022 | 12:11 AMJanet Silvera/Senior Gleaner Writer
Tourists arrive at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. The Government has scrapped the requirement for a PCR test for asymptomatic visitors departing the island.
Tourists arrive at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. The Government has scrapped the requirement for a PCR test for asymptomatic visitors departing the island.
Tourists arrive at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. The Government has scrapped the requirement for a PCR test for asymptomatic visitors departing the island.
Tourists arrive at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. The Government has scrapped the requirement for a PCR test for asymptomatic visitors departing the island.
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WESTERN BUREAU:

Departing COVID-19-positive visitors who are asymptomatic will no longer need a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test in order to be released from isolation, says Jamaica’s Ministry of Health and Wellness.

This is in keeping with the guidelines from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which, two weeks ago, reduced the isolation period for infected persons from 10 to five days.

However, Jamaica had required, additionally, a negative PCR test at day five for release of visitors from isolation.

That decision sparked confusion, with some visitors complaining about being inconvenienced, claiming they were unable to plan their exit from Jamaica. Many went to social-media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok to lambaste the country’s isolation policy.

Mildly symptomatic visitors are to be treated just the same as asymptomatic under the new Ministry of Health and Wellness guidelines.

There has been no change for persons with severe symptoms. They are required to remain in isolation for a minimum of 10 days and comply with the protocols established by the Ministry.

However, if approved by the destination and airline, persons can be released for travel within seven days but must go straight from isolation to a flight and should comply with transportation and airport protocols imposed to decrease risk of exposure to others.

The United Kingdom has also announced that it will no longer require pretesting from fully vaccinated travellers arriving into their country.

On arrival, persons who take a lateral flow test and return a positive result will need to self-isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test.