New protocols for re-entry of Jamaicans during COVID-19 crisis


Kamina Johnson-Smith

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson Smith says the Government has implemented new protocols for the controlled re-entry of Jamaicans during the COVID-19 crisis.

Speaking at a digital press conference at Jamaica House  on Monday, Johnson Smith said re-entry is subject to the strict protocols and availability of quarantine facilities, adding that returning Jamaicans must agree to a 14-day quarantine period in which there is no option to leave before the quarantine period has expired.

The foreign affairs minister said the new protocols will be done in a phased system and noted that Jamaica does not have the resources to charter flights or to pay for the return of nationals.

“Persons will therefore be responsible for making their own arrangements for travel, taking into consideration the limited availability of flights,” she said.

“We have started informing the airlines of our protocols for controlled re-entry and advising them that nationals who still hold tickets for their airlines will now be seeking to re-book once they have received the travel authorization through our new online portal (jamcovid19.moh.gov.jm),” she continued.

Johnson Smith noted that the re-entry process is accessible on the COVID-19 website or on the new mobile application “JamCovid19”.

“When you go on that website, you click on immigration and you will see a form that asks you to sign in with your email,” the minister said.

She noted that the process requires personal information including health status, which will only be shared with public health officials.

Johnson Smith added that once an application has been submitted, individuals will either receive, within three days, conditional approval or asked to answer additional questions.

The minister stressed that airlines will not accept a booking until the individual has received a travel authorization which is issued at the end of the application process.