In the middle of a pandemic, with the cruise industry at a standstill, the question of where to go on a much-needed vacation is being asked frequently. Is it safe to visit Jamaica? The answer depends on factors like what state you live in, where you’re staying, what activities you’re planning, how concerned you are about government warnings, and how concerned you are about catching Covid.
First, what you should know is Covid cases in Jamaica have recently increased (September and October 2020); however, the country has been welcoming visitors since June with no outbreaks. Keeping the “tourism corridor” — the tourist areas — safe has been a high priority and has been accomplished with safety, cleaning, and social distancing protocols. So the question of whether it’s safe to visit Jamaica depends on what part of the country you’re visiting and where the activities you’re planning are. If you’re staying in the tourist areas, there is no quarantine requirement from the Jamaican government.
As an additional safety measure, beginning mid-November, the Jamaica Cares program will require all guests to purchase additional insurance, which will bundle coverages for Covid and things typically covered by other travel insurance. Coverage includes case management, transport logistics, field rescue, evacuation/repatriation for emergencies, natural disasters (and other crises), international health coverage, and on-island medical. At the cost of $40-50 per person, it’s a small price to pay for additional peace of mind when deciding whether it’s safe to visit Jamaica.
Depending on which state you live in, the quarantine requirements when you return can be as lenient as “self-monitor” to “stay inside for two weeks” and everything in between. Some schools also have quarantine requirements for students who either leave the country themselves or have family members who did. Additionally, the CDC and Dept. of State have listed Jamaica as a level three country, warning people not to visit. Even though the tourist corridor has been safe, Jamaica as a whole has seen a rise in cases, which is why the warning exists.
Finally, a big consideration when considering whether it’s safe to visit Jamaica is the personal risk level threshold. In other words, some people are more concerned than others about contracting Covid and/or passing it to someone else. While Jamaica has done a great job of keeping guests visiting the tourist corridor safe, there is obviously a risk of catching Covid.
As part of any vacation to Jamaica, in addition to providing a recent (taken within 10 days) negative PCR test upon arrival, guests must receive a travel authorization, available at VisitJamaica.com, where they will be able to purchase the mandatory insurance.
For unbiased advice, information, and assistance booking your vacation, use my contact form or call Joel at 844-483-6669.
About the Author
Joel is a co-owner of JJ Travel Associates (a Dream Vacations franchise), blogger-in-chief at JoelKnowsTravel.com, lover of all things travel (especially UNESCO World Heritage Sites), wannabe comedian, and the person you should call if you're thinking of planning a vacation.