Jamaica has banned persons from Trinidad and Tobago from entering its country because of the Brazilian variant.
Trinidad and Tobago will join the list of South American countries which now have travel restrictions placed on them.
Jamaica, which is open for tourism, does not want visitors from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru where the Brazilian variant has been raging.
On Monday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley disclosed that he was recently informed by Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness of the ban.
“Yesterday the Prime Minister of Jamaica gave me the courtesy of informing me that I think, sometime today, Jamaica would put Trinidad and Tobago on a restriction list of countries from which persons cannot travel, because of our acknowledgement that we had the P1 variant here.”
The Prime Minister noted this country's close proximity to South America.
“We in Trinidad and Tobago are in a peculiar geographical location. This virus is raging in Brazil. Brazil has a border with Guyana. Guyana is part of Caricom. People are coming from Guyana by way of Caricom arrangements into Trinidad and Tobago.”
At present there are Caribbean Airlines flights from and to Guyana.
Rowley also took issue with blame being cast on illegal migrants entering Trinidad and bringing the virus.
“We should not take a lot of comfort in the fact that if we focus in that way on migrants that we’ll be given a pass for the rest of our population. All over the world, this virus is raging among the populations…without Venezuelans," he said.
In December 2020 Jamaica had also implemented a ban on visitors from the United Kingdom after the UK variant caused concern.
That travel restriction has since been lifted.
To enter Jamaica, along with an approved Travel Authorization form prior to boarding a flight to Jamaica, all travelers ages 12 and up regardless of nationality, are required to show proof of a negative Covid-19 molecular (PCR, NAA, RNA) or Antigen test performed by an accredited lab for which the sample was collected within three days of the travel date.
The island also implemented curfews and restrictions within the country to curb the virus spread.