The Government has ruled out lifting the mandatory quarantine requirement for international travelers, at least for now.
A Pan American Health Organisation official has declared that the measure was not necessary.
But both Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton and the chief medical officer Dr. Jacquiline Bisasor McKenzie argue that many countries from which Jamaica gets visitors have inadequate protocols to identify potentially infected travelers and therefore, it is critical for the quarantine requirements to remain.
“It is very important at this time with the numbers spiking in all the countries around us, that we ensure we abide with the restrictions we have in place,” said Bisasor McKenzie at a COVID press conference Thursday.
North America accounts for the highest number of visitors to Jamaica each year.
Tufton said if Jamaica could be guaranteed that the countries with which it interacts have sufficient systems in place to quarantine or isolate persons suspected or confirmed to have the coronavirus, it would be in a position to abandon the requirements for travelers.
“If you can’t be guaranteed of that, then clearly, you have to put your own precautions in the interest of your own population,” Tufton.
However, Bisasor McKenzie said eventually, Jamaica will reach a point where it will abandon quarantine requirements for travelers.
“Gradually over time, you are going to see changes in recommendations that take us there,” the CMO said.
Source: The Gleaner