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Jamaica Is Latest Caribbean Island To Relax COVID-19 Policies For Travelers
Grab your flip-flops and sunblock and get ready to enjoy a Red Stripe on the beach! As of this past weekend, Jamaica implemented major changes to its COVID-19 protocols for travelers. It joins fellow Caribbean islands St. Lucia and Grenada, who relaxed their pandemic policies following a decline in cases.
Earlier this month, the CDC declared Jamaica a “Level 1” destination, meaning that the amount of COVID cases is low. You can now enter the country without providing proof of a PCR or antigen test within 72 hours of your trip. The mask mandate has also been scrapped, but you are free to wear one if you prefer.
According to Lonely Planet, “Jamaica was one of the first Caribbean destinations to welcome tourists back last year, but it did so by restricting them to certain areas. The tourism board opened what’s known as the “resilient corridor” which were essentially low-risk, quasi-quarantine zones that stretched from Negril to Port Antonio in the east, and from Negril to the south of Jamaica.”
A few protocols will remain for the foreseeable future, including the requirement that all public establishments provide stations for handwashing or sanitizer.
The Jamaican Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, issued the following statement to Travel and Leisure:
“Eliminating mask mandates and the need for travelers to present a negative COVID test result are important strides toward our continued gradual relaxation of travel protocols as the spread of COVID-19 keeps declining. We are optimistic that these simpler requirements will serve to increase the appeal of Jamaica as a premier destination and keep us moving along the road to a stronger recovery for both the tourism sector and the nation’s economy as a whole.”
Jamaica was in the news recently following the announcement that American Airlines would be offering flights to Ian Fleming Airport, which services Ocho Rios. It’s the first American carrier to do so.