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Jamaica Tourism Stages Virtual Reggae Concert, Among Other COVID-19 Relief Efforts

Jamaica’s powerful tourism industry continues to play a key role in the country’s coronavirus (COVID-19) relief efforts.

On Sunday, April 12, the Jamaican government will partner with the Ministry of Tourism to host “Telethon Jamaica: Together We Stand,” a virtual reggae concert featuring the likes of Koffee, Shaggy, Sean Paul, Maxi Priest and Richie Spice to raise funds for personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks for frontline healthcare workers in Jamaica.

The live concert will be streamed on the VP Records’ YouTube channel from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. local time, with a portion of the broadcast being aired live on Television Jamaica and various digital platforms.

“‘Telethon Jamaica, Together We Stand’ is a call to action to support our doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals during this challenging time,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “The donations made will provide essential resources to continue protecting our healthcare workers on the frontline and help fight the spread of COVID-19 across all our communities. I have been inspired by Jamaica’s display of solidarity thus far and I am confident that as a resilient nation, we will get through this together.”

In addition to the virtual concert, hotels and resorts across the island country, including RIU Hotels and Sandals Resorts, are aiding in the fight against COVID-19.

For example, RIU properties in Jamaica are donating food to Montego Bay-based church Fresh Bread Ministries International while Sandals has made the 52-room Carlisle Inn available to the government as a temporary incubation center. The company has also helped finance dozens of ventilators to treat COVID-19 patients.

What’s more, despite the temporary closures of its resorts, Sandals is paying workers 40 percent of their basic salary and allowing them to retain important benefits like health insurance and paid vacation.

Jakes Treasure Beach, Bluefields Bay Villas and Round Hill Hotel and Villas are also assisting with donations, making rooms available and keeping employees on the payroll, among other efforts.

To donate to Jamaica’s COVID-19 relief efforts, visit jatogetherwestand.com or call 1-866-228-8393 from the U.S., Canada, and Jamaica; or +44-808-189-6147 from the U.K. and Europe.

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Destinations

Jamaica Temporarily Closing Borders to Inbound Travelers

Jamaica is closing its borders to incoming travelers this weekend as government officials aim to combat the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

“The Government of Jamaica announced that effective 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, 2020, and for a period of 14 days in the first instance, Jamaica’s air and seaports will be closed to incoming passenger traffic,” the U.S. Embassy in Jamaica stated in a health alert published Friday.

“In light of this development and the Global Level 4 Health Alert issued by the Department of State, U.S. citizens who plan to depart Jamaica should coordinate with airlines to do so at the earliest opportunity.”

Jamaica had previously only imposed restrictions on travelers from heavily impacted countries such as China, Italy, South Korea, Singapore, Iran, Spain, France, Germany and the U.K.

The latest measures will not affect cargo or outgoing passengers. However, many countries around the world have issued their own travel bans and restrictions amid the COVID-19 crisis so Jamaican citizens will also be limited if choosing to travel at all.

“All the countries of the world are imposing restrictions and our attempt at trying to manage the potential crisis that we face has to include a reduction in the movement of persons,” said Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr. Christopher Tufton, via The Gleaner.

The US Embassy is committed to working with the GOJ and US airlines to ensure orderly departure of those US citizens who had plans to leave Jamaica over the next few days.

Palace Resorts & Le Blanc Spa Resorts also announced Friday that the all-inclusive Moon Palace Jamaica in Ocho Rios will remain open as of March 23 to continue to accommodate guests who choose to remain at the property.

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