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Jamaica ramps up COVID-19 testing at resorts, airports and labs

KINGSTON — Jamaica’s approach to on-island COVID-19 testing capacity can be described as “aggressive,” which is good news for travellers returning home to both Canada and the United States.

Following new pre-arrival testing requirements from the Canadian and American governments, Jamaica has announced an increase in destination-wide COVID-19 testing capacity, including at several hotels and resorts.

For travellers staying at other locations, the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the Ministry of Tourism are working together to establish mobile testing facilities within Jamaica’s designated ‘Resilient Corridors.’ These Corridors, created to encourage safe tourism practices within popular tourist areas, comprise two parts: a northern segment stretching from Negril in Westmoreland to Port Antonio in Portland, and a South Coast segment running from Milk River in Clarendon to Negril in Westmoreland.

Testing resources will also be added at Sangster International Airport and Norman Manley International Airport. Plus, PCR and antigen tests will be conducted at 10 private laboratories approved by the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

For a full list of approved laboratories go to www.visitjamaica.com/travelauthorization/testing-labs.

“We can confidently assure travellers that Jamaica’s testing capacity will adequately meet the requirements for travel to the United States and Canada,” said Donovan White, Director of Tourism, Jamaica Tourist Board. “Jamaica is resilient. As we keep an eye toward other potential changes for international travellers, we are pleased with our destination-wide preparedness and the progress we have made to make COVID-19 testing even more accessible.”

Earlier this month, Jamaica announced the creation of a special task force that will oversee the island’s testing capacity. Led by Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett, the task force includes various travel and tourism experts and professionals who will collaborate efforts to facilitate wide-scale COVID-19 testing for visitors.