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04 Apr 2020 | 05:56 PM UTC

Jamaica: Authorities extend COVID-19 entry ban through April 17 /update 5

Jamaican authorities extend nationwide entry ban through April 17 to prevent further spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) within the country’s borders; further international spread of COVID-19 to be expected over near term



On Friday, April 3, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that the closure of borders and the existing ban on incoming passenger flights, including for Jamaican nationals, that came into effect on Saturday, March 21, will be extended through Friday, April 17, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak within the country's borders. According to Holness, outgoing passengers and cargo will still be permitted to exit the country's borders.

A seven-day curfew is still in effect from Wednesday, April 1, until Wednesday, April 8. The nighttime curfew will be in place from 20:00 to 06:00 (local time). Workers in essential services are exempt from the curfew but will be required to provide a photo ID to prove their employment.

As of Saturday, April 4, 53 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Jamaica, as well as three associated deaths. Further international spread of COVID-19 is expected over the coming days and weeks.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.