KINGSTON, Jamaica – Less than a week after Jamaica lifted its travel ban on the United Kingdom due mainly to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Britain’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FDCO) has advised nationals against all types of travel to Jamaica, due to the growing number of COVID=19 cases.
“The FCDO suggests against all but necessary travel to the whole of Jamaica based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks,” it said in its latest travel advisory on Thursday.
Jamaica had instituted the ban as part of the measures under Jamaica’s Disaster Risk Management Act.
“On Saturday May 1, Jamaica will reopen its borders to international visitors from the United Kingdom. This will enable the critical gateways of Heathrow and Gatwick airports, to have transit for passengers coming through and who are fully compliant with health and safety protocols required for international travel,” Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said.
The ban brought travel between Jamaica and the UK to a halt and was done as part of the island’s efforts to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Several countries around the globe have also been forced to institute similar travel bans as a part of their COVID-19 management measures.
In its travel advisory, the FDCO reminded Britons that it is illegal to travel abroad from the UK for holidays, adding that only essential travels could be allowed and people can only leave the UK if they have a reasonable excuse. The condition applies to both UK and non-UK passport holders currently residing in England.
FCDO said over 225,000 British nationals visited Jamaica in 2019, and most of the visits were trouble-free.
On Friday, Jamaica health authorities reported that three people had died while 90 new cases of the virus were confirmed in the past 24 hours.
They said that the latest figures put the country’s pandemic totals to 46,428 confirmed cases and 801 deaths.
The latest deaths were people between the ages 48 to 88 years old and that the island has also recorded 125 recoveries yesterday, bringing that total to 22,018.
There are 23,267 active cases, 231 patients in hospital — 11 moderately ill and 21 critically ill — and 23,025 people in home isolation.