The land of Reggae and Jerk, Jamaica is a true Caribbean paradise. It’s touted as the ultimate destination hemisphere, with its combination of laid-back lifestyle, amazing beaches, and world-famous music culture. Sounds good? And best of all, despite COVID-19, Jamaica remains open for tourists.
We’ve created this informative guide to Jamaica’s COVID entry requirements to help you navigate the New Normal in this island nation. It’s full of all the details you’ll need, including who can visit Jamaica, what travel restrictions are in place, and what it’ll be like once you’re there.
Our guide has everything YOU NEED TO KNOW for travelling to Jamaica in 2020.
A message from Will, the OG Broke Backpacker
Amigos, let’s face the facts: travel isn’t what it was. Things have changed.
We strive at The Broke Backpacker to be the best source of up-to-date and relevant information in the travel-sphere. All the information here was sourced, checked, double-checked, and published on 16/11/2020. While the information was correct then—and we will outline any changes and updates that we do make in the future—it’s important to respect the immense changeability of this topic.
If you’re going to be travelling amongst the coronavirus world, you need to, do your own research and do it hard. No one blog or website is a sufficient source, and even if it was, it might all just go tits up anyway.
This information changes more often than I fart in a day. Tread with caution.
And if you do see some misinformation, please leave a (constructive) comment so that we can patch it up! We really do appreciate your support and input in these weirdest of times.
Who Can Travel to Jamaica Right Now?
Currently, visitors to Jamaica from all countries are permitted to enter Jamaica’s borders. That means those from major countries, such as Australia, Canada, European Union member states, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, for example, may travel freely to Jamaica.
There are certain conditions prior to travel that must be met by potential visitors. See the Extra Documentation and/or Services Required section of our article for more details.
However, those travelling from the following “high risk” countries will be subject to Jamaica’s COVID-19 travel restrictions and requirements:
Can Americans travel to Jamaica?
As the above states, yes: Americans tourists may travel to Jamaica.
However, as the USA is deemed a high-risk country by the Jamaican government, there are additional requirements that travellers must meet in order to safely gain entry to the Caribbean nation.
What Are the COVID-19 Entry Requirements for Jamaica?
Though many tourists and other visitors to Jamaica may do so freely without undergoing COVID-19 test, the high-risk countries listed above must meet certain requirements before entering the country.
In addition, there are additional requirements that all visitors must follow.
Travellers from countries on Jamaica’s high-risk list, who are over the age of 12, are required by the Jamaican government to present negative test results in order to check-in for a flight.
These must be taken at a medical laboratory or clinically approved institution. It must be taken no more than 10 days before the date of travel. You can check that with an online date calculator provided by Jamaican authorities.
Health screenings and temperature checks may be administered on arrival. Those who show symptoms of COVID-19 will be required to take a test. If travellers need to wait for test results, they may do so in their hotel room or place of accommodation.
Travellers to Jamaica’s borders may be subject to quarantine based on risk-based testing and protocols. These differ depending on four categories of travellers to Jamaica, which are as follows:
- Category 1: Residents (nationals and non-nationals).
- Category 2: Non-residents staying in Jamaica for tourism within the resilient corridor
- Category 3: Non-residents travelling to Jamaica for business
- Category 4: Non-residents in Jamaica for tourism/other purposes staying outside the resilient corridor
The resilient corridor refers to two broad segments of the island nation designated as safe for tourists to travel. Within this corridor, tourism services are allowed to accept guests under strict compliance with COVID-19 guidelines.
The northern part of the resilient corridor is from Negril to Port Antonio. The southern part runs from Milk River to Negril.
Those staying outside of these areas are subject to quarantine requirements. They must quarantine for 14-days from their date of entry into Jamaica at their place of residence/accommodation.
If you are awaiting test results, you are also required quarantine at your accommodation until a negative test result is received. If positive, visitors must continue self-isolating at their resort/hotel or government-designated facility.
Before travelling to Jamaica all travellers are required to complete a Travel Authorization document. This is essentially a health risk assessment.
You will fill in your personal details and submit for review. After this, a COVID-19 health risk assessment will be conducted. If successful, travellers will receive an email with their Travel Authorization.
You must provide a digital or paper copy of this Travel Authorization at check-in or when boarding a flight.
If your risk assessment level is above the threshold, you will receive an email recommending that you do not travel to Jamaica at that time.
Fill in the Travel Authorization form online here.
Though not compulsory, the JAMCOVID-19 app is recommended for information and services related to the pandemic (self-reporting, etc.).
The visa requirements for Jamaica remain the same as they were for pre-coronavirus travel. Travellers will not be required to fill in extra paperwork should they need to apply for a visa, while those from countries which are visa-free are still exempt.
There are currently 116 countries that may visit Jamaica visa-free. To see if your country is on that list, check the website for Jamaica’s Passport, Immigration & Citizenship Agency.
It is not compulsory for visitors to have travel insurance to visit Jamaica. However, it is highly recommended that you secure adequate travel insurance before travelling to Jamaica. 2020 has been an uncertain year so far, and it is best to travel with caution.
Please check out our insurance section for more information.
Jamaica’s Travel Restrictions – On the Ground in Jamaica
As with many countries in the world, there are New Normal guidelines in place in Jamaica to curb the spread of COVID-19. There are a number of regulations that visitors to Jamaica should know about, both to keep themselves and others safe while in the country. These are:
- Washing hands regularly (at least 20 seconds and with soap)
- Using alcohol disinfectant when provided
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Practise cough/sneeze etiquette (using a tissue/sleeve)
- Social distancing from others (at least 6 feet)
Wearing a mask is compulsory. The Jamaican Ministry of Wellness introduced the rule in June. Masks must be worn in all public spaces across the island.
On 29th October 2020, the Jamaican government announced that they would extend their coronavirus containment measures until 30th November. This includes rules such as limiting the number of people gathering in a public space to 15, and a stay-at-home order for those over the age of 65.
The coronavirus containment measures also include an island-wide curfew running from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. This is currently in place until 16th November. Those breaking curfew may be subject to fines.
What Tourist Services Have Reopened in Jamaica?
Though many public and tourist services are open and available to use in Jamaica, there is a range of restrictions and limitations in place, as part of the country’s coronavirus containment measures. Some of the services still in operation include:
- Resorts, hotels, etc.
- Amusement parks and arcades
- Restaurants and bars
- Water parks
- Beaches and rivers
The main limitation on the services listed above is their opening hours. Bars and restaurants, for example, may only operate from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., while amusement parks and arcades are open between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Some beaches (and rivers) around the island are closed. However, most beaches are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. There is also a limitation on no more than 10 people gathering in the same spot on the beach.
Guidelines such as social distancing and mask-wearing apply in all these areas.
For more information on the latest news, see the government’s dedicated COVID-19 website.
Now, while travel insurance is not a mandatory entry requirement for Jamaica, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have it. You really shouldn’t ever be travelling without insurance, and that goes double for the pandemic!
Keeping yourself covered against coronavirus mishaps is a complex subject, however, Americans get it easy. Our favourite insurance provider World Nomads just got favourite-r! They’re covering against COVID-related incidents and will also count for countries where corona coverage is a requirement.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple—just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!
Is there a backup option? Sure is—SafetyWing Travel Insurance! SafetWing is the cheap, long-term insurance for cheap, long-term travellers. And now, they’ve stepped up to the plate covering travellers and digital nomads against the scourge… at a bargain!
And if neither of those two choices are right for you? Well, in that case, I strongly, strongly, strongly recommend doing your own research on the top travel insurance companies and finding one right for your trip.
And Keep Smiling
Jamaica is open and awaiting your visit. Some travellers to the country may have extra hoops to jump through in order to be permitted entry, but for most people, Jamaica is a real possibility.
Even though there are New Normal guidelines and restrictions to certain services and facilities, you get to see that Jamaica remains the same amazing place that it’s always been.
So if you’re thinking of travelling to Jamaica and you were wondering if that was possible in these coronadays, by now you’ll have your answer. It’s a yes. So why not start planning a Jamaica visit?