Jamaicans return from Trinidad as repatriation efforts continue-Johnson Smith

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Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator the Hon.
Kamina Johnson Smith today advised that more than 130
Jamaicans returned home from Trinidad and Tobago on Friday,
July 31. The nationals are the second cohort of Jamaicans to
return from that country following the closure of borders, due to
the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister Johnson Smith advised that this was the most recent
success in what has been a challenging period during which
efforts have been made to address the challenges of Jamaicans
overseas who need to return home.
She stated, “For months, the Foreign Ministry, through intensive
collaboration among its network of Missions, including the Consulates,
travel, health and security stakeholders, has been coordinating controlled
re-entry flights, as well as safeguarding the welfare of Jamaicans in
difficult times overseas, due to border closures. We give thanks that
many have returned, but the work continues to support the return of
nationals where travel routes and restrictions remain severely
challenged.”
Minister Johnson Smith also advised that, “Efforts continue to be made for
the return of approximately 60 Jamaicans in China whose courses of
study or teaching contracts have ended since the last repatriation flight.
We are also trying to coordinate a humanitarian flight out of Panama and
seeking to have it facilitate the return of a smaller number of nationals in
Mexico, Belize and Brazil.” The Minister continued to explain that, “The
small numbers, closed borders, travel restrictions, dispersed locations and
limited domestic movement in these cases, have made coordination
efforts particularly challenging, at this time, but we continue to work at
it.”

Resumption of direct Caribbean flights
Against the backdrop of the commercial airline’s gradual resumption of
flight schedules, in the Caribbean, Minister Johnson Smith shared that
“Caribbean Airlines is resuming weekly flights between Kingston and
Nassau beginning on Friday, July 31. This will facilitate the return of
nationals whose circumstances have changed since the earlier repatriation
flights.”
The Minister also noted that Jamaicans who had been stranded in the
Cayman Islands, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda and St. Kitts have recently
returned.
She said, “Following CAL’s resumption of direct flights between Jamaica
and Antigua and Barbuda and Barbados, we are encouraging Jamaicans in
other islands in the Eastern Caribbean, from which there are no direct
flights, to make every effort to travel to Antigua or Barbados to take
advantage of these regular flights.”
Minister Johnson Smith also reminded of the need for returning nationals
to obtain approval on the jamcovid19 website( [email protected] )
and to follow the Covid-19 protocols on their return.

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