Jamaica imposes travel ban on Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone

by / Wednesday, 17 December 2014 / Published in Latest posts

The Jamaican Government has issued an immediate travel ban against certain persons travelling directly or indirectly from or through Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, in light of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

This ban extends to persons ordinarily resident in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone as well as persons who have travelled to or transited through Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, within 28 days of having departed from these countries.

The travel ban extends to Commonwealth citizens, not citizens of Jamaica, who have travelled to or transited through Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone within 28 days of their arrival to Jamaica.

CARICOM nationals benefitting from the free movement regime are also subject to this landing restriction which is a temporary measure necessary for the protection of human and animal health.

Jamaican citizens and residents, who have travelled to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone within 28 days of their arrival to Jamaica, will be quarantined in the interest of public health and national security upon their arrival in Jamaica. This applies equally to any person having a right of entry pursuant to Jamaica’s obligations under international organization head quarters agreements.

Jamaican citizens who have travelled to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone within 28 days of their arrival to Jamaica, will be quarantined in the interest of public health and national security upon their arrival in Jamaica.

According to the World Health Organization the present Ebola outbreak is the largest and most complex since the discovery of the disease in 1976; hence this decision has been made against the background of the outbreak in West Africa since March 2014, and its continued increasing threat to world health and security of Jamaican citizens.

The categories of persons named in the ban represent a ban on persons who have traveled to or transited through countries which the World Health Organization has acknowledged as having the most severe outbreaks and pose the most severe imminent risk for the continued spread of the disease.

Jamaica’s response is informed by the World Health Organization guidance for control of outbreaks which are provided for in:

Ebola and Marburg virus disease epidemics: preparedness, alert, control, and evaluation, and
Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Care of Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Filovirus Haemorrhagic Fever in Health-Care Settings, with Focus on Ebola

The travel ban has been made pursuant to Section 6 of the Aliens Act and Section 4 of the Immigration Restriction (Commonwealth Citizens) Act, which provides the criteria for the eligibility for admission of aliens to Jamaica and prohibited immigrants respectively.

Having regard to the threat posed by the Ebola disease, the category of travelers designated in the ban are hereby not permitted to land in Jamaica.

In the meantime, the Jamaican government is confirming that an American man who arrived in the island from the United States yesterday and who had travelled to Liberia two weeks prior has departed Jamaica for the United States. Upon arrival the proper protocols regarding screening procedures were followed by immigration officers.

On his arrival yesterday, the visitor was examined by officials from the Ministry of Health and was found not to be exhibiting any symptoms of the Ebola virus.

The Jamaican Government acknowledges the serious threat of the Ebola virus and has taken these measures in the interest of countering the threat to public health and national security.

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