Across the Caribbean, Governments are tightening up on travel restrictions. Our first two cases of COVID-19 in Jamaica were “imported” from the United Kingdom, and so were several other cases in the region. My personal view is that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made matters worse over there by apparently embracing the concept of “herd immunity” – a despicable concept to me. To date, the UK has had 1,140 cases and 21 deaths. Here is today’s press release from the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
KINGSTON, Jamaica. 14 March 2020. The United Kingdom will be added to list of countries, which travel restrictions have been imposed by the Government, as Jamaica continues to combat the spread of COVID-19. This is to become effective on Monday, March 16, 2020.
Persons who have arrived in Jamaica from the UK in the last 14 days are to self-report immediately to the Ministry of Health and Wellness by calling 888-754-7792 or 888-ONE-LOVE (663-5683).
In the meantime, the travel restriction means that:
- all Jamaicans who visited the countries of interest in the last 14 days would have landing privileges in accordance with the law but would be subject to a health assessment and quarantine;
- persons who visited countries of interest in the last 14 days and who do not have permanent residency or marriage exemption in Jamaica would not be granted landing privileges at any of the country’s ports of entry;
- non-Jamaicans who have permanent residence and marriage exemptions who were landed and who had visited countries of interest in the last 14 days would be subject to a health assessment and quarantine;
- persons who visited countries of interest and who are granted landing privileges and are classified by the Ministry of Health and Wellness as high risk will be quarantined in Government facilities; and those who are assessed by the Ministry of Health and Wellness as low-risk will be quarantined at home under the supervision of the Parish Health Department;
- individuals returning from countries of interest who are granted landing privileges and who display any symptom of the novel coronavirus 2019, as per the case definition published by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO), would be placed in immediate isolation at a Health Facility; and
- Flight Crews who have transited through countries of interest will be landed in island but will be under self-quarantine arrangements. The following is expected in self-quarantine:
- Stay alone in a well-ventilated room (Air Conditioned Unit on or Windows Open for airflow)
- There should be no sharing of bathroom facilities i.e. each room must be equipped with its own bathroom facility.
- Delivery of food to the room via room service only
- Persons do not leave the room except to return to the airport for the flight
- HAVE NO contact with other members of the public inclusive of flight crew, friends and family.
- WASH hands using soap and water before and after using the bathroom, coughing and sneezing
- AVOID touching eyes and mouth especially after sneezing or coughing.
- If symptoms of acute respiratory infection, including fever, cough, sore throat and difficulty breathing, then:
- Contact the emergency services immediately
- Wash hands with soap and water and put on a mask
- Await help
- Contact the MOHW at:
The aforementioned conditions are stipulated for all vessels including aircraft and ships as per section 8 of the Quarantine Act, sanctioned by the Quarantine Authority.
The other countries, where these conditions apply include the previously announced countries – China, Iran, Singapore, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and South Korea.