TORONTO — With the coronavirus outbreak still top of mind among travellers, both the Jamaican government and Celebrity Cruises have announced strict protocols and restrictions as a way to limit the risk in destination and onboard.
Based on the World Health Organization Situation Report 37 on COVID-19, dated Feb. 26, Jamaica’s Ministry of Health and Wellness has incorporated additional countries into its travel restrictions. They include: Italy, South Korea, Singapore, and Iran.
As per its travel restrictions, people who have visited the affected four countries in the last 14 days, and who do not have permanent residency or marriage exemption in Jamaica, will not be granted landing privileges at any of the country’s ports of entry.
Non-Jamaicans who have permanent residence and marriage exemptions who are landed and who had visited Italy, South Korea, Iran and Singapore in the last 14 days will be subject to a health assessment and quarantine.
People who have visited the four countries and have been granted landing privileges and classified by the Ministry of Health and Wellness as high risk will be quarantined in government facilities. Those who are assessed by the Ministry of Health and Wellness as low-risk will be quarantined at home under the supervision of the Parish Health Department.
Individuals returning from Italy, South Korea, Iran and Singapore who have been granted landing privileges and who display any symptom of COVID-19, as per the case definition published by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization, will be placed in immediate isolation at a health facility.
As of Feb. 26, a total of 141 people arrived in Jamaica who had been in China 14 days prior to arrival. There are currently five people in quarantine in government facilities, five in home quarantine, and two in isolation who are awaiting test results.
Celebrity Cruises, part of Royal Caribbean International, has also imposed health protocols in the wake of the outbreak, in compliance with guidance from CDC, WHO and other public health authorities.
“We are closely monitoring global developments regarding the coronavirus, and we are fully focused on protecting the health and safety of our guests and crew,” the company wrote on its website.
Until further notice, all ships in Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. fleet will adopt the following health screening protocols:
1. Regardless of nationality, the company will deny boarding to:
• Any guest who has travelled from, to or through mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, South Korea and the Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto in the past 15 days.
• Any guest who has come in contact with anyone with 15-day prior travel to mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, South Korea and the Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto. The CDC characterizes contact with an individual as coming within six feet of a person.
• Guests who report feeling unwell or demonstrate any flu-like symptoms.
2. There will be mandatary specialized health screenings performed on:
• Any guest who has travel from, to or through Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Italy (all regions other than Lombardy and Veneto) in the past 15 days.
• Guests who are uncertain about contact with individuals who have travelled from, to or through mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Italy in the past 15 days.
Guests presenting with fever or low blood oximetry in the specialized health screenings will be denied boarding. All guests that are denied boarding due to these restrictions will receive full refunds.
These temporary safety precautions will remain in place for 30 days (as of Feb. 26) and will be reviewed daily. Updates will be posted daily on https://www.celebritycruises.com/.