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Published on Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Jamaica introduces compulsory insurance scheme for tourists


Holidaymakers to Jamaica will have to pay for compulsory emergency cover, which includes access to medical services, from next month.

The Jamaica Cares traveller protection and emergency services programme costs $40 per person. It includes evacuation, repatriation for medical emergencies including Covid-19, international health cover up to $100,000 and on-island health cover up to $50,000.

"Jamaica Cares delivers an unmet need in the travel industry by providing primary medical coverage and medical evacuation services," said Edmund Bartlett, Co-Chair of Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre.

"Jamaica Cares is a comprehensive, mandatory program to increase traveller protection from the time they leave home until returning. The traveller knows they're protected, and they know other travellers are, too. That's what's needed to give confidence to travellers when they are ready to travel."

Jamaica claims to be the first country to facilitate a partnership for a comprehensive pandemic safety response programme.

"Visitors to Jamaica are better prepared and protected because of the cooperative arrangement coordinated via the Global Tourism Resilience Crisis Management Centre with a leading travel crisis management provider and two travel health insurance firms," said Dr. Taleb Rifai, former Secretary General of the UNWTO and Co-Chair of the Centre and the Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council.

"We have to protect both our visitors and the people of Jamaica," said Professor Lloyd Waller, the Executive Director of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre.

The compulsory fee will be included as part of the online Travel Authorization application, triggering automatic participation in the Jamaica Cares programme. Participation is mandatory for all non-Jamaican passport holders.

"If an emergency medical situation arises, including COVID-19, Global Rescue will support Jamaican authorities in executing established emergency action plans including: access to case management, transport logistics, evacuation and repatriation for any medical emergency, including COVID-19, and monitoring from diagnosis through repatriation," said Dan Richards, CEO Global Rescue.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: "I would like to congratulate all those involved in the implementation of the Jamaica Cares programme, which will no doubt help to restore traveller confidence and aid the recovery of the travel and tourism sector."

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