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JAMAICA | US cautions travel to Jamaica due to COVID-19

KINGSTON, Jamaica, November 23, 2020 - Members of the Jamaican tourism industry are concerned over the Level Four COVID-19 risk assessment that has been imposed on Jamaica by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) despite the fact that the government has redoubled efforts to keep Jamaicans safe.

On Sunday, the CDC raised its assessment of Jamaica's COVID-19 risk from level three to Level Four, which is the highest on the risk assessment scale.

Level Four means that travellers to Jamaica have a very high possibility of contracting COVID-19.

As a result, the CDC is urging Americans to avoid travelling to Jamaica and other countries categorised at Level Four.

If Americans have to travel to Jamaica, the CDC is urging them to take extra precautions, including testing before departure, wearing of masks, employing social distancing while travelling among other recommendations.

Other countries listed as Level Four include Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Cuba, the Bahamas, Antigua, Turks & Caicos, Trinidad & Tobago and the Dominican Republic.

Many Jamaicans however, are surprised over the characterization by the Atlanta based CDC, as in the United States, COVID-19 infections are hitting a record 168,000 per day on average, with in excess of 250,000 people dying from the disease.

In the meantime, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) says the latest COVID-19 risk advisory from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will negatively impact tourist arrivals to the island during the upcoming winter season.

JHTA President Clifton Reader is expecting the CDC advisory to put a damper the tourism sector's performance. 

"We have the facts to back up that the winter season, not only from that declaration, but we did a survey within the JHTA a couple days ago and it shows that, where we were projecting 35 per cent for the winter season, it's now down to 30 per cent. So, with such a declaration telling people not to travel to Jamaica...we definitely believe that it's going to affect the travellers coming into Jamaica, occupants for the winter season," he contended.  

Senior Advisor to the Tourism Minister, Delano Seiveright, told members of the media that the CDC advisory will have minimal impact on the travel plans of Americans.

  • Countries: Jamaica
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