(JAMAICA OBSERVER) — The government of Jamaica has increased the number of countries on which there is restricted travel from eight to nine in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Speaking at a press briefing at Jamaica House last evening, Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that travel restrictions were placed on the United Kingdom.
However, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health and Wellness Dunstan Bryan told Cabinet members, other stakeholders, and the media that an exception will be made.
“The travel restrictions are similar line to the travel restriction that we have put in place for the other eight countries that are on our restriction list. First, only citizens and persons who have residency or long stay arrangements or marriage exemptions will be landed in the country; other persons will not be landed at this time,” Bryan explained
“Additionally, persons who are given landing will now be required to be quarantined. Based on the Ministry of Health’s risk assessment, the quarantine will be either in a facility if you display symptoms or you will be home-quarantined. The restriction also applies where persons will be required to self-identify once they have come from this country, given that they are already in the island… If you are a citizen in the island who have come from the United Kingdom and you believe that you are beginning to display symptoms we asked that you self-identify by contacting our [toll-free] 888 number 888-ONE-LOVE. Once you contact us we will begin to give you the necessary instructions,” he said, adding that the public can also e-mail [email protected] as well.
On Tuesday, three European countries were added to the list of countries on which Jamaica has imposed travel restrictions in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.
In addition, imposed travel restrictions remain in place for China, Italy, South Korea, Singapore, and Iran, that were previously made public.
Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamina Johnson Smith stated that there are powers under the Immigration Restrictions Commonwealth Citizens Act and the Immigration Restrictions Commonwealth Citizens Regulation and the Alien Act that give an immigration officer or a health officer the authority to declare a person a prohibited immigrant, as a result of the individual’s condition in relation to a communicable disease.
Noting that the minister of national security has the authority to do so as well, Johnson Smith said discretion can be used to allow or deny people access to the island, as well as to subject them quarantine or isolation.
In addition to that, the foreign minister said the security minister will also be exercising his powers in relation to promulgation of regulations for the ports of entry.
She added if there is a need to remove a person who is declared as a prohibited traveller as a result of COVID-19, there are regulations that allow the for the individual to be removed from the island.