Trips to Jamaica are set to get a whole lot easier as the government moves to scrap COVID-19 tests for visitors entering the country.
Effective this weekend (April 16), travelers will no longer need to take a PCR or antigen test to visit Jamaica. The nationwide mask mandate will also be removed.
"Eliminating mask mandates and the need for travelers to present a negative COVID test result are important strides toward our continued gradual relaxation of travel protocols as the spread of COVID-19 keeps declining," said Edmund Bartlett, the Minister of Tourism.
Jamaica was one of the first Caribbean destinations to welcome tourists back last year, but it did so by restricting them to certain areas. The tourism board opened what's known as the "resilient corridor" which were essentially low-risk, quasi-quarantine zones that stretched from Negril to Port Antonio in the east, and from Negril to the south of Jamaica.
But as cases declined and vaccination rates increased, those zones were abolished in March, meaning that people who arrive in Jamaica are now free to travel wherever they like.
In addition, people no longer need to present their vaccination status or obtain a obtain a Travel Authorization to enter the island.
With the testing rule being scrapped this weekend, travel to Jamaica is essentially COVID-restriction free. Though some health and safety measures remain in place on the ground including the requirement to wash or sanitize your hands when entering locations open to the public. People also need to isolate if they contract the virus on their trip.
The tourism board is also encouraging visitors to continue to exercise caution and observe best practices for health and safety when out and about.
Most businesses are open, including restaurants, museums, cafes, bars and hotels. As cases continue to decline, the country remains at the lowest travel risk for COVID, according to the CDC who classify the Caribbean island as Level 1 (low).