Jamaica not being 'singled out' in new UK travel rules, says Acting British High CommissionerMonday, September 20, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Acting British High Commissioner to Jamaica, Daniel Sheperd, says the island is not being "singled out" in the United Kingdom's travel rules which require fully vaccinated Jamaicans to quarantine after arrival in the UK.
He was responding to a series of tweets by Jamaica's Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Kamina Johnson-Smith, who indicated, among other things, that the Jamaican government has moved to have discussions with the UK government on its new travel measures which are to be implemented in October.
"The Minister is correct: Jamaica [is] not being singled out," Sheperd tweeted on Monday.
"UK recognises a small number of countries' vaccine certifications. Our list will expand on 4 Oct[ober], and include some Caribbean countries. More countries will be added soon after. We are working with the Jamaican gov't on this," he declared.
As part of its new rules for international travel, effective October 4, the UK government will recognise visitors as being fully vaccinated "with a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines from a relevant public health body in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea or Taiwan", the UK Government's website published.
Further, "mixing between two-dose vaccines (Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna) in this list is also recognised".
Notably, the administering of those vaccines from Jamaica's public health body has not been recognised.
Additionally, the UK government will recognise visitors as being "fully vaccinated for at least 14 days under an approved vaccination program(me) in the UK, Europe, US or UK vaccine programme overseas".
The third criteria for full vaccination is "under a formally approved COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial in the US, Canada and Australia and have a proof of participation (digital or paper-based) from a public health body", according to the British authorities on its government's website.
The news of the impending measures created unease for some Jamaicans who suggested that the rules were unfair given the fact Jamaica's vaccination programme has included World Health Organisation (WHO) approved vaccines such as the UK-based AstraZeneca.
Acting British High Commissioner, Shepherd, also took note of the fact that the recent 300,000 AstraZeneca vaccines supplied by the UK government to Jamaica was also used in the British vaccination drive.
"To be clear, the 300k Astra Zeneca doses that we supplied to (Jamaica) are the very same vaccines that have been injected into millions of arms in the UK and are helping the UK return to normal life," Shepherd tweeted.
"The minister (Kamina Johnson-Smith) is right that greater vaccine uptake in Jamaica is the path to freedom," he added.
Earlier, Johnson-Smith had tweeted that she had brought "the issue of the vaccination programme to the attention of Caricom for action last week, have engaged the UK gov't on the issue at a technical level and I will also raise the issue in upcoming bilateral meetings in the margins of the UN."
Recognising that "an expanded UK list of programmes has already been determined for October", the minister described "the process" as "new and regrettably not transparent".
"We have nonetheless requested data from the MOHW (Ministry of Health and Wellness) to assist the UK gov't in their review of Jamaica's vaccination programme," she indicated.