Friday 3 April, 2020

Gov't delays closing ports to incoming passengers until March 24

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

The Government has delayed the closing of the country's air and seaports to incoming passengers until Tuesday, March 24 at 11. 59 pm.

The Airport/Travel Order, which was signed by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, was set to take effect on Saturday, March 21 at 11:5pm as the Government takes further steps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, COVOD-19 on the island.

A statement from Jamaica House on Saturday said the three-day delay is to facilitate certain categories of Jamaicans who work overseas, like seamen.

Based on the change, airline crew and ship workers, as well as persons who commenced travel before March 20, will now be allowed until March 24 to return to the island.

For those persons who will be returning, there will be a mandatory 14-day home quarantine period.

Jamaicans benefitting from the extension are:

a). Those who are engaged in contract work programmes between the Jamaican and foreign governments or private sector entities.

b). Jamaicans employed overseas and arriving home in groups from the country where they are employed.

c). Jamaican holders of seaman certificates.

d). Airline crew whose admission is required to facilitate the arrival and departure of aircraft permitted by the Government.

e). Any Jamaican whose travel to Jamaica commenced on, or before March 20 to arrive in Jamaica on, or before March 23, 2020.

f). Jamaicans whose trips were booked and confirmed on, or before March 20 with the arrival date on, or before March 23.

g). Any other person or category of persons authorised by the minister with responsibility for immigration subject to Cabinet approval.

For those persons arriving up to March 24, the following must be observed:

1. Must be placed under home quarantine for 14 days or in a facility as directed by an authorised officer.

2. Must provide to the chief immigration officer before boarding, the address where he/she will remain during the quarantine.

3. Must provide the telephone number at which he/she may be contacted in Jamaica.

4. Must provide the residential address and telephone number of his/her next of kin.

Persons under quarantine may leave the island before the end of the 14-day period if they do not show any symptoms of the coronavirus.

However, if they develop symptoms during the quarantine period, they should immediately contact the Ministry of Health and Wellness (Toll-Free: 888 - ONE - LOVE that's 888 - 663 - 5683).

The Order will remain in force for an initial two weeks and outgoing passengers and cargo will be allowed during the period of the closure.

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