Health insurance plan for tourists on targetSunday, October 04, 2020
BY HORACE HINES
MONTEGO BAY, St James — Noting that Jamaica has become the most COVID-19-resilient destination in the Caribbean, Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett has announced that Government is fine-tuning the process of introducing a historic health insurance and repatriation programme for all visitors to the destination, to come into effect, hopefully, by November 1.
“By the first of November we hope to inaugurate in the world a complete and comprehensive, end to end health insurance, repatriation and logistics programme for all visitors coming to Jamaica,” Bartlett announced.
He explained that visitors will buy the health insurance policy — which will be attached to their flight ticket — to provide them with full health coverage prior to their arrival in Jamaica.
“For a small cess on their ticket they will be able to come to the country, ensure that their testing is done...whatever health requirements are needed when they are here on the island will be covered,” the tourism minister stated.
He further explained that under the coverage of the health insurance scheme, should the visitors become seriously ill and need to be repatriated, arrangements will be in place to fly them back home on a plane with paramedical facilities.
He told the Jamaica Observer that the logistics partner in the United States of America will develop a programme with John Hopkins University to enable hospitalisation care “that won't leave them stranded when they go back to their country”.
“If they [visitors] become seriously ill there is repatriation arrangement, as a plane will be on the AM tarmac ready and appropriately appointed with paramedical arrangements to take them back to their destination in a prescribed arrangement in that destination. And, Jamaica will be the first country in the world to have that end to end health security for visitors coming to our country,” Bartlett stated.
“I made that point against the background that we have become the most COVID-resilient destination in the Caribbean. Absolutely no destination in the region is now as COVID-resilient.”
He was speaking at Thursday evening's reopening of the 49-suite Zoetry Montego Bay, a boutique resort operated in St James.
Bartlett disclosed that the British Virgin Islands now desires to model the one of a kind resilient corridor concept which has been successfully implemented in Jamaica by the Ministry of Tourism.
Following the phased reopening of the island to tourists on June 15, Bartlett announced that the visistors could leave their COVID-19-approved hotels using similarly approved tourist transportation to visit approved attractions, while remaining within the resilient corridor connected by point-to-point protocols.