This is the word from prime minister Andrew Holness as he addressed a COVID-19 press briefing this evening at Jamaica House.
The borders will be re-opened to repatriated nationals tomorrow, June 1, and reopen for all international travellers on June 15. Persons will undergo voluntary testing on arrival.
The borders were closed to all incoming travellers on March 21 following an outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.
During the period of June 1 to June 14, all individuals seeking to re-enter Jamaica will be subject to testing except for those entering from a country within a travel bubble based on certain criteria.
Holness said Jamaicans returning from countries not considered to be within the travel bubble would be required to be tested and quarantined at home with either phone or wrist band geofencing.
The prime minister said protocols have been established regarding non-nationals being allowed to enter Jamaica as of June 15. Holness said further details would be provided soon.
On Friday, the Nigel Clarke-chaired COVID-19 Economic Recovery Taskforce recommended that the Government relax 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 multisectoral task force, charged with overseeing the recovery of the country’s economy from COVID-19, 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.
“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.
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