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Montego Bay, Jamaica

On-site PCR testing at Jamaica resorts in the works, says JTB

TORONTO — The government of Jamaica has approved a number of private labs to conduct COVID-19 testing for Canadian travellers in destination, plus on-site testing at select resorts in Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Negril is in the works, says the JTB.

Meanwhile Jamaica’s private health facilities have been working rapidly to increase COVID-19 PCR testing for visitors and to make the process more accessible and streamlined.

The news comes in the wake of the Canadian government’s announcement that passengers arriving at Toronto Pearson Airport from Jamaica will be allowed to forgo the pre-arrival PCR test requirement for all inbound passengers, but only until Jan. 18, and only if they agree in advance to take a COVID-19 test immediately upon their arrival at Pearson.

The exemption was put in place Jan. 9 due to a shortage of tests on the island, and is only for passengers arriving at Pearson Airport, and only for departures from Jamaica to Canada through Jan. 18.

The JTB says that while the initial influx of test requests from Canadian tourists in Jamaica caused some backlog, testing is now being prioritized based on departure date in order to ensure all Canadians can obtain their required test results prior to their departure.

A complete list of accredited testing labs is available at https://www.visitjamaica.com/travelauthorization/testing-labs/. Appointments can be made via email or over the phone, says the JTB.

The JTB adds that Jamaica’s Ministry of Health is also working with private laboratory Microlabs to offer Canadian travellers on-site COVID-19 PCR testing at select hotels located in the main tourism regions of Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Negril.

The hope is to have the new service implemented this week. Microlabs has built a Canadian Visitor Testing Portal at https://microlabs.limited/canada-visitor-portal for travellers who wish to request a test at their hotel/resort.