Thu | Jul 2, 2020

2,300 Jamaicans return under re-entry programme

Published:Thursday | June 4, 2020 | 12:23 AM
Holness
Holness

Prime Minister Andrew Holness, says, to date, 2,300 Jamaicans have entered the island under the Government’s re-entry programme at a cost of $1 billion.

In a statement to the House of Representatives on Tuesday, the prime minister informed that the costs incurred were for “testing, quarantining, logistics surrounding all the operations, for meals and transportation [and accommodation]”.

He pointed out that of the number brought in, about 50 have tested positive for COVID-19.

Holness said the Government is now focusing on repatriating Jamaicans by air.

“Complex logistical arrangements will also have to be made as we had to do with the cruise ships. But the air travel arrangements are a little bit more complex because you are dealing with more airlines and you are dealing with shorter schedules,” he explained.

Holness noted that the Government has “closely examined the carrying capacity of our airports and the resources available, given the more intense screening process that will be in place”.

“We are in dialogue with the airlines to establish schedules to June 14, with the view to have four flights a day for North America, two at each airport, one in the morning and one in the evening as well as an additional midday flight for the Caribbean,” Holness said.

He added that the Government is aiming to bring home about 3,000 of the 7,000 Jamaicans who have applied to return through the JamCOVID portal.