Jamaica Gets Mandatory Protection Program Underway
In an effort to make the destination far safer, Jamaica has announced a groundbreaking and mandatory new program for all foreign travellers, effective next month.
Jamaica Cares, a joint collaboration between the Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC), the Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council, and Global Rescue, is being hailed as a first-of-its kind traveller protection and emergency services program designed to protect both visitors and the people of Jamaica.
For approximately US$40, the end-to-end program provides all nationalities who are entering Jamaica with non-Jamaica passports with access to compulsory traveller protection and emergency medical services. It is comprised of two major components:
All Hazards program: Case management, transport logistics, field rescue, evacuation, and repatriation for medical emergencies, including COVID-19 and other crises up to and including natural disasters
COVID-19-specific program: International health coverage up to US$100,000 for visitors traveling to and from Jamaica, and on-island health coverage up to US$50,000
In a virtual press conference earlier this morning, Dan Richards, CEO of Global Rescue, confirmed that the fee will go towards supporting its new Jamaica Operations Centre (JOC) based in Montego Bay, and additional expansion to other locations as necessary.
Jamaica’s Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, stressed the need for a proactive approach to global tourism recovery, saying that “destination assurance” is becoming a critical precondition for travel today.
Mr. Bartlett expects the program to be implemented by U.S. thanksgiving, and confirms that Jamaica has already begun speaking with other countries that wish to follow suit. More information regarding how travellers can access the program and when payment will be required will come in the next few weeks, though Bartlett said that “the market will be given enough time to be able to respond to whatever the requirements are to comply.”
Also joining the press conference was Gloria Guevara, president & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), and Dr. Taleb Rifai, Co-Chair of the GTRCMC and the Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council, and former Secretary-General of the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization (WTO).
In her remarks, Mrs. Guevara stressed the need for the global community to eliminate quarantines so that “people can freely move around”, and said that today’s announcement is an important step towards resuming international travel.