330 J’cans expected home this week

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Some 330 Jamaicans stranded overseas are expected on the island this week.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Kamina Johnson Smith gave the details in response to a question at a COVID-19 digital press conference Monday evening. The processes of managing the risks of taking in these Jamaicans and the cost to Jamaica were also explained by Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

Mrs. Johnson Smith first gave details that 115 were to arrive by charter from the UK on Wednesday, May 6. This includes 75 crew members, including Jamaicans from the Marella Discovery 2, whose distress had been highlighted weeks ago when they were not let into  Jamaica and later ended up in Europe on the ship.

Mrs. Johnson Smith said the Government was working with another cohort of Jamaicans in the United States. She said a total of some 330 were expected home this week.

She said all coming in will be taken into quarantine, provided by the Jamaican Government. “State quarantine is not free to taxpayers,” she said.

The negotiated cost for keeping and feeding each person in quarantine is US$100 per day. Those returning have been asked to make a contribution of US$20 per day.

The Foreign Affairs Minister said however that Cabinet had agreed to pay the full costs of those coming in this week as they were among those most distressed.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness repeated that for others coming in they will be required to make a contribution of US$20 a day.

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