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CDC Lowers Jamaica COVID-19 Travel Risk to Level Two Designation

Release Date: 
Wednesday, January 19, 2022 - 17:30

KINGSTON, Jamaica; December 23, 2021: Jamaica has been downgraded from a Level 3 to a Level 2 designation by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in recognition of the country's efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 effectively. This new classification places the destination in a risk category lower than that of more than 70 per cent of countries worldwide.

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett has expressed his delight at this new classification, noting that it will undoubtedly positively affect the number of visitors travelling to the island from the United States during the Winter Tourist Season.

"We are extremely proud that the CDC has once again lowered its COVID-19 Travel Recommendations ranking to a Level 2 ranking, indicating that COVID-19 contraction level is moderate. In recent months Jamaica has been classified at Level 3 (COVID-19 high), and Level 4 (COVID-19 very high) as many Caribbean islands and other countries are unfortunately still ranked today," said Bartlett.

"It is undoubtedly a show of confidence in the destination and the strict health and safety policies we have in place, particularly within the Tourism Resilience Corridors. I commend our health authorities and the Jamaican people for their efforts to reduce COVID-19 infection and hospitalisation rates, which bodes well for our risk assessment rankings," he added.

Under the CDC update, which was made yesterday, US citizens should be fully vaccinated before travelling to destinations which have the Level 2 designation. The CDC suggests that unvaccinated travellers who are at an increased risk of developing severe illnesses from COVID-19 should avoid unnecessary travel to these locations.

A Level 3 country, on the other hand, has a high COVID-19 prevalence, and travellers must ensure that they are fully vaccinated prior to travel. Unvaccinated travellers should abstain from unnecessary travel to these locations.

“We encourage visitors to continue to keep Jamaica in mind when making their vacation plans and to take comfort in the fact that their visit will be safe. With relatively high vaccination rates and extremely low infection rates, the island continues to be a very safe place for visitors and workers alike,” said Bartlett.

Jamaica is on track to receive over 1.5 million visitors by the end of 2021. With a strong start to the Winter Tourist Season, tourism officials also anticipate that the country will reach pre-pandemic levels of arrivals by the third quarter of 2023.