Jamaica Will Start Charging All Travelers a Health Insurance Fee Next Month

Travelers will have to pay $40 to cover emergency costs.

Jamaica is introducing a mandatory insurance fee travelers must pay to gain entry to the country.

Starting next month, travelers will need to pay $40 as part of the island's Jamaica Cares program to cover emergency medical services.

The fee is basically a “public-private” insurance that will cover travelers against illness, including COVID-19, and natural disasters while visiting Jamaica. It will cover the cost of case management, transport logistics, field rescue, evacuation, and repatriation for medical emergencies up to $50,000 while on the island and $100,000 while traveling.

Launched in partnership with the Global Tourism Resilience Crisis Management Centre and two travel health insurance firms on Monday, it protects travelers from the moment they leave home until they return.

Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images

“Jamaica Cares delivers an unmet need in the travel industry by providing primary medical coverage and medical evacuation services,” Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Co-chairman, Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre, said in a statement. “The traveler knows they’re protected, and they know other travelers are, too. That’s what’s needed to give confidence to travelers when they are ready to travel.”

Jamaica reopened to tourists on June 15, requiring new precautions like temperature checks, results of a negative COVID-19 test, and a Travel Authorization application for all travelers who do not hold a Jamaican passport. When the Jamaica Cares program rolls out, it will be included on the Travel Authorization form.

The part of Jamaica that is currently open to tourists is known as the “Resilient Corridor” and includes most popular vacation spots like Montego Bay, Negril and Ocho Rios. Travelers who wish to travel beyond the corridor are required to quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Jamaica. Travelers may also be subject to limitations, like curfews.

Jamaica has reported a total of 8,652 cases of COVID-19 and 184 deaths, according to data from the Ministry of Health. More than 1,100 of the cases were reported during the last two weeks.

The CDC has placed a Level 3 warning against nonessential travel to Jamaica, saying that the COVID-19 risk is high.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. When in a new city, she's usually out to discover under-the-radar art, culture, and secondhand stores. No matter her location, you can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.

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