KINGSTON, Jamaica, February 2022 — Effective March 1, the requirement to obtain a travel authorisation through the JAMCOVID or Visit Jamaica platforms will be eliminated. So says Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
The prime minister announced a further relaxation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus containment measures during a Jamaica House media briefing this week, noting that the Government was, at this time, maintaining the existing pre-testing requirement for a negative PCR or antigen test conducted within three days prior to travel.
“We are aware that obtaining pre-tests is becoming more difficult and expensive in some jurisdictions. We are therefore reviewing whether or not we should maintain this requirement or modify it,” Holness informed.
He said that concurrent with the removal of the travel authorisation effective March 1, the government is also removing travel-related quarantine requirements.
“We are still strongly recommending and encouraging persons to limit their movement for at least five days after returning from travel.
“In particular, I urge persons who have travelled to distance themselves from those who are most at risk…those who are 60 years and over, persons with comorbidities…” Holness said.
He said that isolation requirements remain in effect for persons who test positive for COVID-19. These individuals must isolate themselves so as not to infect others.
Despite the relaxation of the measures, Holness urged Jamaicans to bear in mind that the pandemic is not over.
“So, when you have returned from your travel, please cautiously entertain your family members or visit your elderly parents. I also want to emphasise that isolation requirements remain in effect for persons who test positive for COVID-19,” he pointed out.
The Prime Minister said that the relaxation of the measures will facilitate the return of children to face-to-face classes after the upcoming midterm holidays
He noted that while there is a high level of fatigue in the society, the objective is to get the nation’s children safely back in school.
“We have to be very careful at this period in time not to open up too much. So, we all have to still exercise caution and patience [and] give the children the priority to get back into school,” he noted.
The revised measures, which include changes of the nightly curfew hours, are based on declines in the COVID-19 indicators, particularly infections and hospitalisations.
The new measures are effective from Friday, February 25 for a three-week period, ending March 17.
Speaking at a virtual press briefing, Mr. Holness said that following Cabinet deliberations, the nightly curfews will now run from 12:00 a.m. to 5:00 am, ending at 5:00 a.m. on March 18.
The maximum number of persons allowed to physically attend funerals and burials will increase to 100 and this number includes mourners, clergy, and any other support personnel. Burials are permitted only between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays.
In addition, up to 100 persons can attend events hosted by public-sector entities, and 100 persons may be physically present at weddings and Annual General Meetings (AGM) of companies.
The Prime Minister said that at the end of three weeks, it is quite likely that the Government will bring the measures to an end.