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Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Kingston, Jamaica (March 20, 2020)
March 20, 2020

Location: Jamaica

Event: The Jamaican Ministry of Health and Wellness (MoHW) confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Jamaica. On March 14, the Department of State authorized the departure from any diplomatic or consular post in the world of US personnel and family members who have been medically determined to be at higher risk of a poor outcome if exposed to COVID-19.

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, the Peace Corps in Jamaica is withdrawing all Volunteers in Jamaica to the U.S. home of record. Peace Corps staff will remain in Jamaica.

The Government of Jamaica has implemented enhanced screening and quarantine measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  On March 20, 2020, the Government of Jamaica announced that effective 11:59PM on Saturday March 21, 2020, and for a period of 14 days in the first instance, Jamaica’s air and seaports will be closed to incoming passenger traffic.  Outgoing passenger and cargo will be allowed. Travelers should be prepared for additional travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.

On March 16, 2020, the Government of Jamaica advised that all travelers from countries where there is local transmission of COVID-19 will now be required to self-quarantine for up to 14 days, either in their hotel or place of residence in Jamaica.  This requirement also applies to U.S. citizens traveling from the United States to Jamaica.  If during that time they develop symptoms, they are to contact the Ministry at the COVID-19 line: 888-754-7792 or at 888-ONE-LOVE (663-5683). If travelers are asymptomatic, but required to self-quarantine, they will be allowed to depart the island within the 14-day quarantine period. U.S. citizens who are considering returning to the United States are urged to work with their airlines to make travel arrangements while flights are still available.  Visit the Jamaican Ministry of Health and Wellness website for additional information on these new measures.

The Government of Jamaica has implemented measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. These include: Scaling down outpatient clinics at hospitals; hospital patients may have one external visitor per day; no gatherings in any public space of more than 20 people; bars, nightclubs, and other places of entertainment are to be closed; Jamaica Urban Transit Company and Montego Bay Metro buses will be required to carry seated passengers only; taxis are required to carry one less passenger than their license allows; and non-essential work is to be done from home in the public sector. Visit the local government COVID-19 website for updated information.

U.S Embassy Kingston is providing American Citizen Services and emergency visa services.  For emergency American Citizen Services, including emergency passports, please visit our website for additional information.

Many travelers worldwide have reported unexpected flight cancellations and limited flight availability.  If your travel has been disrupted, please contact your airline.

The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 2 Global COVID-19 Outbreak Notice.

The Jamaican government has implemented quarantines in Seven and Eight Miles, Bull Bay, St. Andrew and the Corn Pipe Settlement in Hayes, Clarendon.  Transportation to or from these areas, and public services including schools and government offices are limited.

Actions to Take: