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Jamaica to lift UK travel ban


Jamaica to lift UK travel ban
Jamaica Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett - FP

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Kingston – Jamaica’s travel ban on the United Kingdom (UK), slated to come to an end on Friday will not be extended, Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said.

The ban, which was instituted as part of the measures under Jamaica’s Disaster Risk Management Act, will be lifted as of Saturday, May 1.

“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,” 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. However, with the global deployment of COVID-19 vaccines there has been an increase in confidence as it relates to travel and tourism.

“Jamaica’s position at this time is critical in relation to the opening up of the summer tourist season and in fact, the importance of enabling the diaspora, particularly the strong British clientele that have always come to the island.

“The lifting of the ban is also against the background of the improved vaccination programme in the UK and the fact that pretty close to 50 per cent of UK residents have received their second dose of vaccinations,” Bartlett said.

Since reopening its borders last June, Jamaica has welcomed approximately 1.5 million visitors under the island’s robust health and safety protocols.

“The opening of the borders is important in the context of not just Jamaica’s tourism but Caribbean tourism, as so many of these countries benefit from transiting through Jamaica for British and European nationals.

“It is important also against the background of the recent call by the Caribbean Tourism Organization urging a review of the categorization of Caribbean countries by the UK; given the fact that we have the lowest death rates and highest recovery rates and exemplary COVID-19 management,” added Bartlett. (CMC)