Travel to Jamaica during COVID: Jamaica Villa Serenity

Jamaica Safe to Travel During COVID-19?

We are going through challenging times. The pandemic has taken a toll throughout the globe. People from all walks of life are more concerned about their cleanliness and well-being, and travelers are no different. Air travel was initially thought to be the primary cause of why the novel COVID-19 virus spread worldwide.

How Do You Know If It’s Safe to Travel?

That depends on who you are. An older traveler in a higher-risk group might feel reluctant to leave home without a coronavirus vaccine. However, younger travelers likely are ready to go now.

For example, Ina wants to know if it is safe to travel yet. At 75, with diabetes and high blood pressure, she is in a high-risk group that makes her especially vulnerable to a COVID-19 infection.

I am originally from Jamaica and still have lots of family there. I enjoy hanging out by the pool, beach, and backyard with family, old friends, and going shopping. Celebrating the life and death of family or close friends is also important. Currently, with the limitation on the number of people that can gather together, I am severely restricted.

Is Air Travel Safe?

The in-flight transmission of the infection has been documented. However, airline travel has become much safer now than at the start of the pandemic. Before boarding a flight, you will need to take the following steps to avoid catching COVID-19 on your flight:

  • Wear a mask from the time you arrive at the airport until you leave the airport at your destination.

Despite these and other best practices for staying safe in transit, many travelers are unwilling to risk it until we reach one — or all — of the benchmarks for travel safety.

Benchmarks for Safe Travel

Here’s how to know if it’s safe to travel yet:

  1. Increase in Inquiries for International Travel: An increase in inquiries for international travel indicates a readiness to get back on the road. Most travelers already have plans to travel by year’s end, and a majority say they’ll travel internationally sometime in 2024.

  2. Low Test Positivity Rate: One of the signs that show it is safe to travel is if the test positivity rate at your destination is around 1 percent.

  3. Lifting Travel Bans: Global Rescue’s members say that nations lifting the bans on travel, particularly the limits on traveling to Europe, will be a green light for venturing abroad. But experts point out that travel bans can be easily reinstated if the coronavirus resurges.

  4. Availability of a COVID-19 Vaccine: Eventually, there will be a vaccine for COVID-19, providing a valuable asset in the fight against this disease. Pfizer’s vaccine, shown to be 90% effective, will be a sign for many travelers that they can travel freely again.

Jamaica Cares Initiative

From November 2020, Jamaica launched the Jamaica Cares program, offering an end-to-end travel insurance plan that provides visitors with emergency medical and crisis response services in partnership with Global Rescue.

“Jamaica Cares is meant to deliver an unmet need in the travel industry by providing primary medical coverage and medical evacuation services,” Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Co-chairman, Global Tourism Resilience, and Crisis Management Centre, said in a statement.

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. It is essentially an end-to-end insurance plan for traveling. And it leads to providing visitors with confidence when traveling to Jamaica.

What Are the Requirements & What Will Be Covered?

It will be mandatory for non-Jamaican passport owners to purchase this travel insurance, costing around $40 per individual. The policies of this program will include transport logistics, case management, field rescue, repatriation, evacuation for any medical emergencies, and other crisis scenarios like natural disasters.

The plan includes international health coverage up to $100,000 and on-Island health coverage up to $50,000. The program combines Global Rescue’s emergency services with domestic and international travel medical insurance, said Jamaican officials.

How to Enroll, and What Are Its Different Components?

The compulsory fee for the Jamaica Cares travel insurance policy is part of the total application fee for the country’s online travel program. After approval, the visitor will be able to enroll in the program.

This program is designed to restore the trust that travelers have lost in their air travel companies. It ensures that travelers will receive high-quality medical emergency services irrespective of the circumstances.

All Hazards Component

The major components of this program include all hazards covering field rescue, oversight services, and emergency transport. This service will be under the control of Global Rescue, a reputed emergency service provider.

Additionally, the emergency service provider firm has also partnered with various Jamaican hospitals to provide local treatment in case of emergency.

It will also provide medical evacuation services to travelers who need intensive care. Moreover, this component covers any situations associated with terrorism and natural disasters.

COVID-19 Component

The program’s major components include all-hazards components covering field rescue, emergency transport, and oversight services from personnel at Global Rescue and other partners.

This travel insurance program involves rapid testing and triage for different symptomatic treatments for travelers. These include any intensive care or access to medical personnel in Jamaica.

Cancellation Policy

There is no cancellation policy with Jamaica Care as it is mandatory travel protection for visitors to this country. All Jamaica-bound travelers will receive a package of information at the end of the application for a travel authorization.

Vacation Rental & Airline Policy

Though it will be a mandatory policy to purchase when you have to travel to Jamaica, this policy doesn’t cover vacation rentals, hotels, resorts, or airline policy.

A pre-flight testing program, currently in development with American Airlines, may also help boost the number of stayover arrivals. Similar to the program in place in Hawaii, passengers who participate would be able to bypass any quarantine requirements.

Airport Health Award

Montego Bay Jamaica Airport is the first airport in the Caribbean to win a health award from the Airport Health Association (AHA). AHA assesses different airports for their health measures and accredits them with the standard practices recommended by WHO.

The airports in Jamaica are working hard to provide a healthy environment for travelers as well as the airport employees. COVID-19 testing is mandatory for everyone, and the airport has won numerous awards for maintaining cleanliness with the facility.

Even the airline cabins are frequently cleaned, with disinfectants before and after the use of travelers. You don’t have to blindly trust the airlines, but if a global body recognizes the efforts of an airline, there is always some credibility on their part.

Of course, as reinforcement measures, you can always go with your disinfectant wipes to clean those hard surfaces.

Cleanliness Requirements

The first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in March 2020 in Jamaica. Since then, the government has been making efforts to prevent and contain the virus. It is the most effective strategy to keep the impact minimal on the country’s labor force.

Airports and airplanes are frequently equipped with handwashing stations to allow people to keep their hands clean. Management is more vigilant in timely cleaning procedures.

It has also minimized the use of any surfaces that are tough to sanitize and clean. These include blinds, curtains, mats, rugs, and carpets. Social distancing is mandatory at all facilities, and wearing face masks is a must too.

Conclusion

Jamaica Cares is a quality medical travel program that travelers have to use when they are traveling to Jamaica. As part of the application to travel to this country, travelers will have to pay for this service. But there is no cancellation fee.

This program covers the traveler in case of any emergencies caused by natural disasters, terrorism, or COVID-19. It is an effective response to any situation, though it does little in terms of preventive measures.

Montego Bay Jamaica Airport is the only airport in the Caribbean that has been awarded the coveted Airport Health Award, as well as many other awards for cleanliness. The airport is equipped with numerous handwashing stations and adheres to social distancing and face-mask-wearing etiquettes.

Tourism has long been a mainstay of the Jamaican economy, but like many Caribbean destinations, it has taken a hit since COVID-19 halted travel worldwide. Jamaica Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett said last month he has “cautious optimism” for a potential “major upturn” in visitor arrivals this upcoming peak winter season.

Jamaica reopened to tourists on June 15, with requirements such as temperature checks, results of a negative COVID-19 test, and a Travel Authorization application. When the Jamaica Cares program rolls out, it will be included on the Travel Authorization form.

Book Your Jamaica Villa Accommodation

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