Brief COVID Testing Reprieve For Jamaica Returning Pax

Mark Stachiew, Open Jaw

Canadian travellers returning from Jamaica have been extended a brief exemption from the federal government's new COVID-19 PCR testing requirement due to the short supply of testing facilities in the island nation.

A Jamaica Gleaner report said Saturday that WestJet reached an agreement with the Canadian government to allow pax from Jamaica into Canada between JAN10 to 18 even if they have not taken the test.

Travellers will have to do a PCR test when they arrive at YYZ after they have cleared customs and immigration. They will still also have to quarantine for 14 days at home.

In another Jamaica Gleaner report, one Canadian tourist said she tried to book a PCR test and was told the next available appointment time isn't until February.

Only two private laboratories in Jamaica have been approved by the Ministry of Health & Wellness to offer PCR testing: Caribbean Genetics (CARIGEN) and Microlabs Limited.

In its latest travel advisory on Jamaica, the Government of Canada warned travellers that it would be difficult for them to be tested there for COVID-19:

"Due to reduced testing capacity, it may be challenging to obtain a COVID-19 test at this time in Jamaica. If you experience travel disruptions due to the new testing requirement, contact the High Commission of Canada in Jamaica or the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa," stated the advisory.


Suzanne Marcus - January 11, 2021 @ 10:17
The comments on Open Jaw 11 January becomes confusing.
Is it correct to worry that if there are only 2 sites to get the pre flight leaving Jamaica covid test to bring home to Toronto -in Jamaica-this will deter a client from evening asking about a trip to Jamaica. One comment above said a vacationer was told February was a date she could be given for a pre flight covid test!
What is correct as of 11 January
a/leaving for Jamaica from Toronto (you need to bring the results)
b/returning from Jamaica to Toronto (what do you need to bring home) and then isolate 14 days in Toronto
suzanne marcus travel edge toronto

Brad MacTavish - January 10, 2021 @ 07:07
Thankfully we return on the 17 th
Don’t know how we will make our connecting flight after testing but will worry about that later!

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