Jamaica's ports remain closed to incoming travellers

April 04, 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness speaking at a digital press briefing on Friday, April 3, 2020.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has announced that Jamaica’s air and sea ports will remain closed to incoming travellers for another 14 days, as part of the measures by the Government to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) locally.

The country’s ports of entry were closed for an initial 14 days, from 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, March 21 to Saturday, April 4.

Prime Minister Holness, made the announcement during a digital press conference at Jamaica House on Friday (April 3).

He said the decision to extend the period of the closure was taken as “we are not at the stage where we are able to return to normal. At this stage, we have to look at what is in the national interest,” he said, while noting that the measure will be reviewed for further decision.

He said the Administration is “very concerned” that the countries from which nationals would be travelling from are experiencing an “exponential rise” in COVID-19 community spread and, therefore, has to exercise caution.

“We have seen where countries that have allowed mass entry of their nationals and others persons [are] starting to see their numbers [of COVID-19 cases] rising, and they now have to be putting in place control measures for entry,” the Prime Minister said.
Citing challenges with the majority of nationals who came into the island, on or after March 18, failing to report to the Ministry of Health and Wellness as stipulated by law, Mr. Holness said the Government would now have to consider protocols that need to be instituted for re-entry.

“When we come out of the COVID epidemic, we have to get used to what we call a new normal… meaning that there will have to be new measures in place to control entry into the island,” he said.

-JIS News

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