Jamaica has been a world leader at effectively reopening its nation for tourism during the pandemic, but the nation is taking it one step further with the implementation of their new “Jamaica Cares” program, which is a mandatory travel insurance for all visitors into the country.
However, visitors to Jamaica might have to adjust their budgets to include the new fee for the compulsory program, expected to be around $50 per person.
The program is set to launch mid-November and will require all travelers, no matter if they are already covered with their own travel insurance, to purchase a package, which will give them a bundle of coverages.
But, will having additional insurance encourage timid travelers to get on a plane and leave their country during a pandemic? The Jamaican tourism board sincerely hopes so, as they work tirelessly to lift the nations tourism industry towards pre-pandemic levels.
Although Jamaica has proven one of the most successful tourism reopening’s by welcoming over 150,000 visitors since June – incident free – they want to instill a total trust factor to coax more travellers to visit this winter.
Eager travelers with cabin fever want to be totally assured they will be taken care of, in the event that they are diagnosed with Covid-19 abroad.
Edmund Bartlett, the Minister of Tourism for Jamaica agrees that “Destination Assurance is becoming a critical pre-condition of travel today. As thought leaders, Jamaica is taking a proactive vital role in recovering a rebuilding the spirit of travel, by restoring the trust and confidence of travellers in our destination.”
The tourism board of Jamaica, along with the Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC), Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council, and Global Rescue, have come together to create “Jamaica Cares”, an innovative traveller protection and emergency services program.
Bartlett says that Jamaica is leading the way, “being the first to offer this end-to-end health logistics coverage.”
While the exact price for the coverage has not yet been established, it is expected to be around $40 to $50 USD per person visiting the island.
The coverages and inclusions provided in the Jamaica Cares program are not just limited to Covid, and cover other things travellers are concerned with, including:
- Case management
- Transport logistics
- Field rescue
- Evacuation and repatriation for medical emergencies (including COVID-19)
- Other crises up to and including natural disasters
- International health coverage up to $100,000 for tourists traveling on their way to and from Jamaica
- On island health coverage up to $50,000
“Jamaica Cares has been designed very specifically and very deliberately. The program protocol will ensure our ability to welcome travelers to Jamaica safely, knowing that in the worst-case scenario they will be treated to the gold standards of care and service.” Says Bartlett
Currently travelers from ALL countries are permitted to visit Jamaica under regular visa requirements but they must first obtain a travel authorization.
Tourists from high-risk countries, like the USA, Brazil, Mexico, Panama or the Dominican Republic also have to bring proof of a negative PCR test, taken within 10 days of departure into the country.
Travelers staying in the tourism corridor (an area of approved hotels and touristic activities) will not have to quarantine, but must stay on hotel grounds unless participating in an approved tour or to visit an approved corridor attraction.
Edmund Bartlett says with the testing requirements for passengers from high-risk countries paired together with the resilient tourism corridor rules, they have had no spread of the virus caused by tourists.
We've included Jamaica as one of the Top 10 places to travel during the pandemic, due to its forward-thinking approach of how to balance the virus and tourism in tandem.
Would the ~$50 Jamaica Cares insurance be a deciding factor to encourage or discourage you to book a trip to Jamaica?
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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