Planning your winter vacation just got a little easier this week, as airlines are set to ramp up a number of flight routes between Canada and Jamaica.
Beginning November 1st, major Canadian airlines will be operating 50 direct flights a week from cities in Canada to destinations throughout Jamaica in an effort to boost tourism in the Caribbean nation.
Flight services will be operated by the major airlines of Air Canada and WestJet, as well as the low-cost airlines of Air Transat, Sunwing and Swoop. The airlines will offer passenger flight services non-stop to Jamaica from the following cities: Toronto, Calgary, Montreal, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Halifax, Edmonton, St. John’s and Moncton.
News Comes As a Much-Needed Boost For The Tourism Industry
This comes as great news for travelers and many in the tourism industry, as Canada is Jamaica’s second-largest source market for tourism. In 2019, the island nation welcomed around 400, 000 travelers from Canada, only second to the United States at over 1.8 million travelers during the year.
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, met with tourism officials in the United States and Canada with his team over the past few weeks to discuss a reopening of travel. The meetings were followed by a confirmation on Friday that there will soon be a boost in flight operations to meet the incoming demand for travel to the tropical island.
During his announcement, minister Bartlett pointed out the increased demand from Canadians wishing to visit Jamaica. At this time, there are “forward bookings hovering around 65% of 2019 levels and airlift for the winter season at around 82% of 2019 levels, with around 260,000 seats locked in,” he said.
What is the ‘Resilient Corridors’ Program?
“Resilient Corridors” is a system that was created earlier this year to help manage a safe reopening of this island vacation destination. The Corridors consist of two parts of Jamaica’s most popular tourist spots: the north of the island from Negril to Port Antonio (including Ocho Rios and Montego Bay), and the South Coast from Milk River to Negril.
According to the Visit Jamaica website, “for the protection of locals and visitors alike, the Resilient Corridors were created to encourage safe tourism practices through the strict delivery of service that conform to a rigorous set of Covid-19 protocols and approved by the World Travel and Tourism Council.”
Tourists can find attractions, hotels and tour operators within the resilient corridors that are Covid health protocol compliant and officially certified by the Jamaica Tourism Board. The operators which are allowed to accept guests have undergone a health and safety inspection, and all patrons and workers of these facilities must abide by all health guidance like hand washing, respecting physical distancing as well as mask-wearing in public spaces.
If you’re looking to stay outside of the corridors, you can check here for a list of approved accommodation listings which are also accepting guests.
Jamaica’s Ready To Welcome International Tourists Back To The Island
With over 80% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated and more international borders are reopening around the world, the minister stated that many remain optimistic for this boost for travel. “They are also excited by the fact that Jamaica’s Resilient Corridors, where most tourists’ vacation, are safe with relatively high vaccination rates and near zero infection rates,” he said.
In other travel news, two major cruise lines are set to resume operations in Jamaica by the end of 2021 following a year and a half suspension.
Jamaica Travel Restrictions
At this time, all travelers arriving to Jamaica ages 12 and up must show proof of a negative Covid molecular test result taken no later than 72 hours prior to travel. Visitors must also fill out a Travel Authorization application form and submit it at least 7 days before travel. The approved form must be presented before boarding your flight to Jamaica.
Arriving travelers will also be subject to a health screening at the airport, and might also be tested for Covid if they are exhibiting any symptoms. Tested travelers will be asked to quarantine at their hotel and wait for the results. You can see more details on the travel and entry restrictions for Jamaica here.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories