[Reprinted: The Gleaner, 10-2-2020]
Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, says come November 1, the Government will be launching an end-to-end health insurance, repatriation and logistics programme for all tourists coming to Jamaica.
Bartlett said the programme is aimed at guaranteeing the health security and safety of tourists who fly to Jamaica, ensuring a comfortable and seamless destination experience.
“In the process, for a small cess on their tickets, they will be able to come to the country and ensure that their testing is done; whatever health requirements are needed while they are here on the island will be covered; and if they are ill, there are repatriation arrangements, as a plane will be on the tarmac ready and appropriately [equipped] with paramedical [personnel] to take them back to their destination,” Bartlett explained.
He was speaking at the official reopening of Zoetry Montego Bay in Ironshore, St James on Thursday.
Bartlett said that Jamaica will be the first country in the world to feature this end-to-end health security initiative for tourists.
He added that such a programme will make the point that Jamaica is the most COVID-19-resilient destination in the Caribbean.
“So, we are opening Zoetry Montego Bay against that background of being a destination where we can say to our visitors, come to Jamaica, stay in the corridor, have a wonderful time, realise your truest wishes and desires, revel in the culture of Jamaica and go back home safe and secure,” said Bartlett.
In the meantime, the tourism minister indicated that Jamaica is finding new and better ways to ensure that visitors will have a hassle-free entry.
“We are working to ensure that our visitors will be able to come to Jamaica, pretesting negative [for COVID-19], and that the process of being able to arrive in Jamaica will be less laborious and far easier,” Bartlett said.
“That process will enable us to have a competitive edge as we look to other stages of protection for visitors and Jamaicans,” he added.