The country closed its borders to incoming travellers on March 24 as part of measures to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and they will remain closed until May 31, leaving a number of nationals stranded overseas.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness, said that Cabinet has developed a protocol for the controlled re-entry of Jamaicans into the country.
Speaking at a recent press conference, Dr. Tufton said the health status of Jamaicans who re-enter the country will be ascertained and they will be quarantined.
“There are other elements to the plan, but our primary function is to manage re-entry in a way that ensures that we minimise the risk to the country while giving or guaranteeing the rights of Jamaicans to come to their country,” he noted.
The Health Minister informed that persons who returned to the island on April 21 from the United States have been placed in quarantine and will be observed appropriately. He said the undertaking was carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of National Security.
“Our role in this, as public health, is to ensure that these individuals are observed appropriately, so that when they are released to the general population, they are not bringing in the virus. So all the protocols relating to quarantining would apply, but it’s substantially an operation driven by the Ministry of National Security,” he noted.
“The same would apply in terms of other special groups… . The general principle is to use the protocols that we have established in public health to secure the health status of those individuals, so that when they are released they are appropriately not a threat to the population,” Dr. Tufton added.
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