CARICOM | Jamaica, Trinidad and Guyana removed from UK's "Red List"

CARICOM | Jamaica, Trinidad and Guyana removed from UK's "Red List"

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica,October 8, 2021 -  The United Kingdom has removed Trinidad and Tobago Jamaica and Guyana from its COVID ‘red’ list of countries, paving the way for increased two way travel between the tourism dependent CARICOM countries and the UK.

The United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, FCDO,  today lifted its advisory which recommended that potential travellers only travel to these countries for essential purposes.

The UK Government agency gave the reprieve today in an update on its website. Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Haiti and the Dominican Republic remain on the red list, which requires travellers to quarantine in an approved hotel at their cost for 10 full days.

Arrivals from 37 more destinations will have their vaccination status certificates recognised, meaning they can avoid more expensive post-arrival testing requirements.

Vaccinated travellers from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana will be treated the same as returning fully-vaccinated UK residents so long as they have not visited a red-list country in the 10 days before arriving in England.

Jamaica’s Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, says the development augurs well for Jamaica’s tourism product.

Senior Advisor and Senior Strategist at the Jamaican Tourism Ministry, Delano Seivereight, in elaborating on the importance of the lifting of the essential travel advisory said  "We have been losing millions of US dollars in revenue (but) now that the UK Government has withdrawn that travel advisory, we're back in business with the UK market. Tui is going to restart services as early as next weekend, with as many as six flights per week."  

Tui suspended flights in August due to the UK Government's advice to residents against non-essential travel to Jamaica based on COVID-19 risk levels. Seiveright says it’s a positive development which could assist in rescuing the winter tourist season.

The announcement from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, comes as the Covid-19 positivity rate in Jamaica, which had hit a high of approximately 50 percent, has declined significantly.

In the meantime, the United States says it will accept the use by international visitors of COVID-19 vaccines authorized by U.S. regulators or the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said late on Friday.

On Sept. 20, the White House announced the United States in November would lift travel restrictions on air travelers from 33 countries including China, India, Brazil and most of Europe who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. It did not specify then which vaccines would be accepted.

A CDC spokeswoman told Reuters Friday, "Six vaccines that are FDA authorized/approved or listed for emergency use by WHO will meet the criteria for travel to the U.S."

Late on Friday, the CDC said that "earlier this week, to help them prepare their systems we informed airlines" of the vaccines that would be accepted and added "CDC will release additional guidance and information as the travel requirements are finalized."

Airlines for America, a trade group representing American Airlines Co (AAL.O), Delta Air Lines (DAL.N), United Airlines and others, said it was "pleased by the CDC's decision to approve a list of authorized vaccinations for travelers entering the U.S. We look forward to working with the administration to implement this new global vaccine and testing framework by early November 2021."

The United States will admit fully vaccinated air travelers from the 26 so-called Schengen countries in Europe as well as Britain, Ireland, China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil. The unprecedented U.S. restrictions have barred most non-U.S. citizens who were in those countries within the past 14 days.

The new COVID-19 vaccine requirements will now apply to nearly all foreign nationals flying to the United States - including those not subject to the prior restrictions.

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