Jamaica Is Making It Easier to Visit Starting This Weekend — Here's What's Changing
Jamaica will eliminate all pre-arrival testing for international visitors this weekend, becoming the latest destination to roll back pandemic-era rules.
Starting April 16, the island will no longer require travelers to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR or rapid antigen test taken within 72 hours of their trip, the Jamaica Tourist Board shared with Travel Leisure. Instead, travelers will be able to enter the Caribbean country as freely as before the coronavirus pandemic.
Additionally, Jamaica will eliminate its indoor mask mandate.
"Eliminating mask mandates and the need for travelers to present a negative COVID test result are important strides toward our continued gradual relaxation of travel protocols as the spread of COVID-19 keeps declining," Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica's minister of tourism, said in a statement provided to T+L. "We are optimistic that these simpler requirements will serve to increase the appeal of Jamaica as a premier destination and keep us moving along the road to a stronger recovery for both the tourism sector and the nation's economy as a whole."
Jamaica is relaxing some protocols but will keep others in place, including the requirement for public establishments to provide hand washing stations or hand sanitizing equipment.
The decision to roll back travel restrictions comes weeks after Jamaica stopped requiring travelers to complete a travel authorization form. It also comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classified the island as "Level 1" on its travel warning list earlier this month — its lowest level — recommending travelers are "vaccinated and up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before traveling to Jamaica."
The agency has since said it will change the way it warns against traveling to destinations and countries but will keep the criteria for its lower warning levels pretty much the same.
Jamaica joins several other Caribbean islands in relaxing entry protocols, including Saint Lucia, which eliminated pre-arrival testing for vaccinated travelers, and Grenada, which removed all COVID-19-related entry restrictions, regardless of vaccination status. Similarly, in the United States, Puerto Rico has lifted all pandemic-related restrictions for domestic travelers.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.