JAMAICA | Opposition warns against complacency in CDC's Negative Travel Advisory

JAMAICA | Opposition warns against complacency in CDC's Negative Travel Advisory

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica April 10, 2021 -   Shadow Minister of Tourism, Senator Janice Allen, says the travel advisory issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), categorising Jamaica as a level 4 destination, is a worrisome and disappointing development for Jamaica.

In a statement yesterday, Senator Allen said, “no matter how the Government's consultants spin it, this is an avoidable setback to the recovery prospects for the Tourism sector."

Commenting on the CDC's advisory and subsequent reaction from the Government, Senator Allen, who is a former Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) Executive, said the level 4 designation would cause more than market jitters, as the US has placed Jamaica in the worst category. Unlike most of the other countries listed in level 4, Jamaica has a huge tourism product, which would be affected by this negative travel advisory.

However, even at this late stage, the Shadow Minister is cautioning the Government against complacency and listening to the noise in its own echo chamber. This designation is an indication that our largest tourism market is not satisfied with our mitigation strategies. 

Senator Allen is concerned that in addition to a late start with a vaccination programme, the Government ignored several industry warnings and proposals to mitigate the spread of the pandemic, including testing of all entering the island from as far back as June 2020. "It is disconcerting that the Minister of Tourism does not willingly embrace suggestions.  He had plenty opportunities to have taken a more enlightened approach to head-off this negative designation," Senator Allen said.

The Tourism Shadow Minister continued, "What is needed now is an all-stakeholder discussion to devise strategies to ensure that Jamaica becomes a safe destination once again,” 

She committed the Opposition’s support in all efforts to bring about a unified approach, involving all stakeholders in this vital industry.



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