10,000 J’can citizens, residents expected home by month-end

ALMOST 10,000 Jamaicans and non-nationals are expected to return home by the end of June under the Government’s controlled re-entry programme.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness said Friday that, in addition to 2,500 Jamaicans already in the island, 3,000 more are to return between June 14, and the Government is estimating that based on the number of people who have applied and other non-Jamaicans who may want to re-enter, there is the likelihood of another 7,000 entries by the end of the month.

“…So potentially, we could expect an assessment of risk that our [COVID-19] numbers could rise to this amount (but) it doesn’t have to be. It could be less, and it all depends on whether or not the persons who re-enter follow the sensitisation, follow the quarantine orders, and follow the stay-at-home orders,” he said

“It really depends now on how we exercise personal responsibility,” he told the media at a virtual press briefing from Jamaica House where he updated the public on the latest developments to restrict the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Effective June 15, the country will start allowing non-nationals to enter the country.

There will then be three categories of travellers: Category 1- Jamaican nationals, and non-nationals who are ordinarily resident in Jamaica by virtue of work permit or marriage, or being the dependent of a national; Category- 2 would be non-nationals visiting for the purpose of vacation (tourism); and Category-3, which are non-nationals who are business travellers.

Protocols for business travellers coming to Jamaica for less than 14 days will be required to be tested on arrival. They will then be subject to quarantine orders at the hotel while they await their tests results. If the test is positive, they will go into isolation, either at the hotel or in a government facility as determined by the health facilities.

If the test is negative they can proceed to conduct their business and meetings as planned, and of course they would have to leave the island within the time they are allotted by immigration authorities.

Protocols for visitors (tourists) will be similar to those for Jamaican nationals, except that tourists will be subjected to a “Stay in Zone” Order, or a geographical area which will be called the COVID-19 Resilience Corridor.

– Balford Henry

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