Government extends UK travel ban

by January 1st, 2021

Government has extended the travel ban on flights coming from the United Kingdom, until Sunday, January 31.


The ban was first issued on Monday December 21, following the discovery of a new covid-19 variant in the UK, and was slated to end on Monday January 4.


In a statement outlining details of the extension last evening, the Office of the Prime Minister noted that all non-Jamaicans, who have been in the UK within 14 days prior to their intended arrival date in Jamaica, and those who seek to enter Jamaica, through another country, will not be permitted to enter the island.


It said these travellers will be tested and placed in state quarantine for a minimum of 48 hours, until their covid test results are returned.


If test negative, they will be allowed to transfer to home quarantine to complete the 14 day mandatory quarantine period.


But if test positive, they will be transferred to isolation, at a location that is approved by the ministry of health.


Meantime, minister of health Dr. Christopher Tufton said the ministry is monitoring the situation in the UK, including the outcomes of virological investigations, while preparing for an expected surge in local cases of covid-19.


He said these factors will influence the ministry’s recommendation regarding the lifting of the travel ban.


Dr. Tufton added that the health ministry will continue to work with the various airlines to support the repatriation of UK residents, who are in the island and wish to return to the UK.


Cargo flights from the UK will continue to be exempted from the travel ban.


In a related matter, the 20 persons who came in on the last flight from the UK, who tested positive for covid, remain in state isolation, and are said to be stable.


Health officials said those who are quarantined at home, remain a-symptomatic.


The quarantine period for these travellers is scheduled to end on Monday, January 4.


The health ministry said it expects to hear from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in another two weeks, regarding the results from the samples sent to determine, if these persons have the variant strain of covid-19.


Meantime, the government is reinforcing that Jamaicans should not to travel to the UK at this time.


Those who travel overseas, including to the UK, will be subject to the established quarantine, or isolation procedures, upon their return to Jamaica.