Jamaica is introducing a mandatory fee of $40 (€34.27) that visitors entering the country must pay to cover a traveler protection and emergency medical and crisis response service. Jamaica Cares is set to launch next month and it aims to give confidence to travelers when they are ready to travel again.

The Global Tourism Resilience Crisis Management Centre is coordinating and administering the program with travel crisis management provider, Global Rescue, and two travel health insurance firms. It says that Jamaica is the first country to facilitate a partnership for a comprehensive pandemic safety response program. It covers treatments costs, field rescue, evacuation and repatriation for medical emergencies, including COVID-19 and natural disasters.

A man river rafting in the forest of Jamaica
The program provides on-island health coverage © Pat Maguet/Shutterstock

The service provides case management, transport logistics and international health coverage of up to $100,000 (€85,679) for visitors traveling to and from Jamaica, and on-island health coverage of up to $50,000 (€42,839). "Jamaica Cares delivers an unmet need in the travel industry by providing primary medical coverage and medical evacuation services," says Hon. Edmund Bartlett, co-chairman of Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre. "The traveler knows they’re protected, and they know other travelers are, too. That’s what’s needed to give confidence to travelers when they are ready to travel.”

Jamaica is an island in the Caribbean known for its beauty and rich culture. It attracts lovers of scuba diving, snorkeling and bamboo-raft trips, and adventurous visitors can go caving or hiking to the top of Blue Mountain Peak. Its musical roots are legendary and visitors enjoy its culinary delights. Having closed to visitors when the pandemic struck, Jamaica reopened again on 15 June. Visitors must undergo temperature checks, have a negative COVID-19 test result and complete a Travel Authorization application.

The new fee will be included as part of this application process, and participation is mandatory for all non-Jamaican passport holders. Further information is available from Global Rescue's website here.

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