As the Government scales up activities to bring more Jamaicans home within the next two weeks, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, is reminding persons that they need to apply for re-entry through the JamCOVID app.
She said that once persons have applied, they will be sent an email advising them to complete their home quarantine information. “This is necessary to process the applications at this stage because we are moving from mandatory State quarantine in order to increase the number of persons that we can welcome home,” she noted.
Senator Johnson Smith, who was addressing a digital press conference held recently at the Office of the Prime Minister, said that the flights into the island will include Jamaicans within the Caribbean, noting that discussions are underway in that regard.
She informed that the Government is also looking at arrangements to bring home nationals stranded in countries such as Malta, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Dubai, Sweden, Belgium, France, Thailand and Japan.
“What we are trying to do is to consolidate a flight that will bring these small numbers together, and bring them home in a way that is not only more affordable for them but safe,” she said.
The Ministry has already supported the return of persons from the United States, United Kingdom (UK), Canada, Turks and Caicos, Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic.
Meanwhile, Senator Johnson Smith lauded the consular staff, which has been assisting nationals overseas in navigating various challenges as they wait to return to the island.
“Emergency numbers and emergency contact information have been posted on our website as well as on our social media and social media of our overseas missions,” she advised.
She noted that the Ministry has helped to provide access to medication, counsellors, spiritual advisors and mental health professionals for Jamaicans across the diaspora, and has, at times, paid for accommodation and other essentials for persons “who have fallen on hard times or run out of resources while waiting to return”.
She reported that partnerships have been forged with companies such as GraceKennedy, National Baking Company and Jamaica Broilers to provide food packages for those in need.
Senator Johnson Smith said the Ministry also provides regular consular advice regarding visas and overstay.
She is advising persons to check the Ministry’s website at www.mfaft.gov.jm or social media pages for information on where they can apply for visa extension in the US, Canada,UK and the wider Europe, providing that their overstay was due to the travel restrictions associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19).