Jamaica is an island nation in the Caribbean. Its lush topography, mountains, rainforests and reef-lined beaches are a sight to behold. Also, Jamaica has a lot of all-inclusive resorts in Montego Bay. And their British-colonial architecture is quite a beauty. Negril, in Jamaica, houses its famous diving and snorkelling sites. And, of course, Jamaica is a place of music. It is famous as the birthplace of reggae music. The capital of Jamaica, Kingston, houses Bob Marley Museum, dedicated to the famous singer.
It is a beautiful upper-middle-income country, and its economy is heavily dependent on tourism. About 4.3 million tourists visit Jamaica in a year. As a result, Jamaica ranks no.1 in the Caribbean in terms of tourism.
Entry to Jamaica
To go on that trip to Jamaica, you need to do/know the following:
- Get authorisation to enter Jamaica through the Visit Jamaica website before checking in for a flight. Make smart flight booking and hotel reservations.
- You must present a certificate showing you tested negative to COVID-19 (PCR, NAA, RNA) from a UKAS accredited laboratory, or you give an Antigen test result. Bear in mind that you take this test within 72 hours before your arrival. This is peculiar to all travellers from the age of 12 and above.
- If you are travelling for business, you are to present a negative COVID-19 test, and you will and you will have to test again on your arrival.. Furthermore, the expenses will be on you.
- At the airport, there is a check for COVID-19 signs and symptoms.
Testing Upon Arrival
Once you arrive in Jamaica, you will test for COVID-19 for high-risk assessments. This might be because you are exhibiting symptoms or you’ve been exposed to persons who have tested positive or to a high-risk group or other risk factors. Again, you will undergo a check for symptoms at the airport.
Be sure you have evidence that shows that shows your vaccination for a shorter quarantine period. The following quarantine requirements apply:
First Category: Residents (Jamaican national and non-national)
People who live in Jamaica (residents), nationals and non-nationals residents in Jamaica may go through testing if assessed as high-risk. Even if you have not gone testing, you are to remain in quarantine at home for a minimum of 14 days, starting from your arrival date into Jamaica. But if there is evidence that you are fully vaccinated, the quarantine period will only last for 8 days. If the test came out negative after testing, you would be free to finish the quarantine at home for 14 days from the day of your arrival.
If you have been fully vaccinated and do not want to be quarantined, you can take a PCR test. If the result comes in negative, you will be free from the Quarantine Order. But if positive, you will be in an isolation at home or in a government facility depending on the health authorities decision.
Second Category: Tourists (non-residents visiting Jamaica and staying at approved “resilient corridor” accommodation)
The entry requirement outlined above also applies to people in this category if they are from places regarded as high risk by the Jamaican health authorities.
On arrival, you will get a test at the airport or designated facility. But you will await your test result in your hotel room. If confirmed negative, you will remain within the “resilient corridor” with restricted movements. Also, you will go on only permitted excursions. If the COVID-19 test is positive, you will be on isolation at the hotel or in a government facility.
Third Category: Business Persons (non-residents coming for business)
If you come to Jamaica for business, you will also a testing on arriving at the airport. You will wait for the test results under a “Quarantine for Business Traveller” measure at your hotel or address. When the test comes out negative, you will be free from quarantine and placed under a “Stay at Intended Address for Business Travellers” measure. This will last for 14 days from the time of arrival or, if you are not staying for so long, for the number of days you will visit. But when the test result comes out positive, you will be on isolation in your hotel/address, or you will be kept in a government facility.
Fourth Category: Visit for Other Purposes (non-residents visiting Jamaica for other reasons/tourists not staying at the “resilient corridor”).
Notably, the entry requirement outlined above is also applicable to persons in this category if the health authority’s list of high-risk areas is where they are coming from. So, you may need testing there at the airport or other designated facility if assessed by the health authorities as high-risk. And made to await the test results quarantined in your hotel or address.
Whether tested or not, you will need to observe 14 days quarantine starting from the day of your arrival to Jamaica. If your test result comes out negative, you will still be on isolation at home for 14 days beginning on your arrival in Jamaica. Additionally, if it comes out positive, you will be put in isolation at home or at a government facility, depending on the health authorities’ decision.
Regular Entry Requirements
Except you are a British national, you need a visa to visit Jamaica. Jamaican visitors are mostly given entry for 90 days maximum. The day your visit will be over, the day you are to leave Jamaica, will be stamped in your passport. Furthermore, you can extend your stay, if you want, by applying to the Jamaican Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency. However, do this quickly because staying after the stipulated date without proper authority can lead to detention or a fine.
As long as you have a passport, make sure it is valid for the proposed duration of your stay. Hence, you may not need any other additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents also referred to as ETDs, are recognised for entry and exit from Jamaica. With ETDs, you do not need to obtain a police report for your stolen passport, unless for insurance purposes. But if you’re travelling through the USA, you will most definitely need to get a US visa because ETDs are invalid in the United States under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP).
Yellow fever certificate requirements
You should visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website to determine if you will need a yellow fever certificate.
Arrival and departure taxes
The taxes for arrival and departure are always included in the cost of your ticket. It is not, however, applicable to charter flights. The tariff for release is around $35 for air passengers. Please consult your carrier to be sure of its inclusion in your ticket. Also, if you are using a cruise ship, usually, the landing fees are included in the cost of the cruise.
Yes, local currency (Jamaican dollars) can be brought into the country. Although, you will have to declare all currencies and monetary instruments over the value of US$10,000 on your customs form. In addition, taking in meat and dairy products from the UK is not acceptable. At the Customs, officials may search your baggage and destroy banned foodstuffs.
What You Need To Know About Jamaica
If you are planning on a visit to Jamaica, these might be helpful:
- Crime and violence rates are higher, particularly in Kingston.
- ZOSOs, Zones of Special Operations, are currently in strategic places. This is to enable the military to support the police in immediate response to violence and shooting.
- Hurricane experience in Jamaica is from June to November. So plan your trip after or before this period.
- Demonstrations, civil unrest and rioting can occur at any time. These can cause traffic jams and disruption to public transportation. Do well to avoid these demonstrations as they can become very violent and lead to theft and robbery.
- Also, Jamaica has been classified as a high-risk country for Zika virus transmission by the UK health authorities.
- The Jamaican emergency service number is 119 for police, ambulance and fire.
- Additionally, Jamaica experiences two rainy seasons; the first season starts in May and ends in June, while the second season starts in September and ends in November.
- Also, Jamaica experiences two dry seasons; the first season runs from July to August, while the second season runs from December to April.
- The best time to take a vacation to Jamaica is in November to mid-December. At this time, the temperature is about 80°F.
Don’t Miss Events In Jamaica.
This holds in Montego Bay, Kingston and Ocho Rios from January to April. It’s a festival of colour, music, dance, fun and food. So enjoy every bite of the season with this Jamaican experience! The island nation at this time comes to life right in the middle of Montego Bay, Kingston and Ocho Rios. Activities range from beach parties to street parties. This Carnival is true quite an experience.
Bob Marley Week
This event holds in Kingston every February. Reggae fanatics and Rastafarians at this time come together in the first week of February to remember and re-enact the life and music of Bob Marley. From the first week, there are symposiums, lectures, karaoke contests, a fashion show, exhibitions, and many other events related to Bob Marley. And again, the “Redemption Live” concert. Although it is to honour Bob Marley, it is the closest you can get to having an authentic Bob Marley experience.
Montego Bay Yacht Club Easter Regatta
This event holds in Montego Bay every March/April. This is another period of fun at the esteemed Montego Bay Yacht Club! However you want to get involved, whether you are just simply witnessing the sails glide past you, from your favourite spot, you will still have delightful entertainment over the Easter weekend.