We are all worried about the rising numbers of active cases of COVID-19. This evening’s report (Sunday, August 16) show an increase in the number of active cases to 269. We have nine moderately ill and two critically ill patients. A large number of people are in home quarantine (28,209) and 170 in home isolation, with 58 in facility isolation. Today we had seven new cases, yesterday 24 new cases. While the Ministry of Health and Wellness is still testing backlog cases (from July) it is also testing current cases and we continue to have new cases from St. Thomas, where there is a quarantined community. The number of local transmission cases (“not epidemiologically linked”) has risen to 84.
We are still having imported cases (a total of 395 to date). 66 non-resident COVID-positive travelers have returned to their respective countries. Now, as concern grows, the Ministry of Health and Wellness designated more countries as “high risk” today (surprisingly, not the UK), effective Thursday, August 20. This should have happened weeks ago in my view (originally only four U.S. states were designated high risk) but whether this will make a huge difference at this moment is really a moot point.
The main problem, and general concern, seems to be the returning residents, who are supposed to go into two weeks’ quarantine at home on arrival, but instead are showing up at fast food restaurants, supermarkets, and other people’s houses. Even parties! Jamaicans have been urged to “turn informa” and report these miscreants, who are putting their own lives and those of many others at risk.
With elections two and a half weeks away, this tightening up is needed.
COVID-19 test a must for more visitors as list of high-risk countries grow
KINGSTON, Jamaica. Sunday, August 16, 2020: Non-residents visiting Jamaica from the United States, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico, which have all been designated as high risk locations, are now required to obtain a COVID-19 PCR test prior to arrival.
This applies to all non-residents 12 years and older, including those who are business travellers, entering the island on or after August 20 from the locations currently designated as high risk by the Jamaican health authorities.
They are required to do the test within 10 days prior to their intended date of travel to Jamaica. All persons applying to enter on visitjamaica.com from the designated high-risk locations will be required to upload their COVID-19 PCR test certificate as part of the application process.
This requirement was already in effect non-residents from the states of Arizona, Florida, New York and Texas in the United States.
Visitors to the island are reminded that upon arrival in Jamaica, all persons will be subject to health screening and risk assessment by the local health authorities. All tourists will be allowed to go to their hotel under a Stay in Resilient Corridor Order from their date of entry to Jamaica. Those tested will have to stay in their rooms until their result is returned.
Visitors must report symptoms to the hotel medical station. Persons who are symptomatic or become symptomatic during quarantine will be isolated and tested. Visitors who return a negative result will remain on hotel property according to Stay in Resilient Corridor orders.
CATEGORIES OF TRAVELLERS
- Residents – Holders of a Jamaican Passport or non-nationals with long-term stay arrangements.
- Non Residents – Applies to holders of passports from other countries.
- Business Travellers – Non-residents travelling to conduct business on behalf of a company. Does NOT include other residents or non-residents travelling to conduct personal business. Does NOT include persons attending funerals or weddings.
- Home Quarantine for Returning Residents – Under this measure, persons are required to remain at home. Persons under this measure would also be required to work from home and are NOT allowed to leave their homes or hotels or to attend funerals, weddings, parties or any gatherings.
- Stay in Resilient Corridor – This measure applies only to tourist visitors who are staying in the “COVID-19 Resilient Corridor” designated for tourism purposes. Under this measure, persons are required to remain within the hotel property in the corridor for the duration of their stay. They are not allowed to leave the hotel and go to another property.
- Quarantine Order for Business Travellers – Under this measure, short-stay business travellers are required to remain at their intended address, whether a hotel or private home, and allowed to leave only to conduct their business meeting(s). They are required to wear a mask in a public place, comply with the physical distancing rule and are not allowed to meet with persons aged 65 and over, to take public transportation or to attend any meeting, event or gathering of more than 20 persons.