With a diverse landscape of lush mountains and forests alongside expansive white sand beaches, Jamaica makes for an ideal vacation spot. In addition to stunning tropical views, the island also has a welcoming atmosphere that visitors feel the moment they step off the plane.
As U.S. travelers become more confident in taking vacations, they are looking to destinations with increased health and safety protocols. Jamaica not only falls within the countries taking extra precautions, but the destination goes above and beyond some of its neighboring Caribbean islands.
Although there are added steps for traveling to this island, they are all laid out on visitjamaica.com, and to ensure you’ve checked all the boxes, it’s always best to work with a travel advisor when booking. I recently spent five days in the island and was impressed with the enhanced initiatives in place from start to finish.
Everyone checking in for and boarding a flight to Jamaica must have a Travel Authorization document. Before getting authorized, future travelers need to present negative results from a COVID-19 molecular (PCR, NAA, RNA) or antigen test within three days of arrival.
While vacationing on the island, Jamaica has created what it calls “Resilient Corridors.” Created with the safety of both locals and visitors in mind, these corridors are compiled of tourism businesses that adhere to a rigorous set of COVID-19 safety protocols approved by The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
Jenny Cagle, President of Elm Grove Travel in Elm Grove, Wisconsin, recently returned from a visit to Jamaica as well, and she felt safe every step of the way.
“I thought that safety precautions in Jamaica were well thought out and executed. At all of our points of contact, the people we interacted with were masked and conscientious of social distancing,” Cagle explained. “The revised services of Club Mobay were very COVID friendly, the transfer vehicles were spotless, as were the resorts we visited.”
I stayed at the beautiful Sandals South Coast in White House, Jamaica. All the people I came in contact with at the airport, in the transfer and at the resort were wearing masks and kept their distance; however, the warm Jamaican hospitality still showed through.
Many of the resorts in Jamaica are set up in a way to allow for guests to have plenty of room, so they make for ideal spots to vacation to right now. Couples, families and groups of friends looking to reconnect in paradise will find plenty to do here while still being able to stay safe.
According to Adrian Whitehead, General Manager of Sandals South Coast, the property is currently operating above 60 percent occupancy, and the future reservations continue to trend upward. Although, he did point out that even when Sandals properties are full, it really doesn’t feel that way.
“One thing you’ll find ring true across all our resorts is that they were never designed to feel full, even at full capacity. Our resorts were built on expansive grounds, so guests have plenty of seclusion and privacy to enjoy their vacation, allowing them to feel like they are the only ones on resort. Not to mention, guests have been ‘social distancing’ at our resorts long before this past year,” Whitehead explained.
Even though the CDC recently issued new guidelines for vaccinated Americans, travelers returning to the United States are still required to present a negative COVID-19 test result prior to departure from an international destination. Sandals, along with several other resort companies, are set up to conveniently offer this right on property so guests don’t have to skip a beat of their vacation.
The travel landscape continues to change month to month, and even sometimes day to day, so it’s always important to check into the latest travel requirements before embarking on a trip. However, at the current time, I would recommend Jamaica as a safe, fun-filled destination to travel to. Cagle feels the same way.
“For clients who are ready to travel, I definitely feel comfortable recommending a vacation to Jamaica. I have visited twice during COVID-19, and both times I have returned with a renewed confidence in the destination for travel at this time,” she said.
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