Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Senator Kamina Johnson says that some Jamaicans returning home will be asked to pay US$20 per day for the 14 days of their mandatory quarantine period.
The foreign minister was speaking yesterday (April 4) at a digital COVID-19 press briefing at Jamaica House.
Johnson Smith indicated in her report that this cost would not affect the 110 Jamaicans returning this week given their special circumstances. The 110 Jamaicans returning this week include those who have been on the Marella Discovery 2 ship.
“State quarantine is mandatory for persons returning…it is the policy at this point in time, and it is not free to taxpayers.
“It comes at a negotiated cost of US$100 per day, per person, inclusive of accommodation and three meals per day.
“I know you will agree that this is a significant cost to bear. I know you will agree that at this time, it is important for our nationals who are experiencing challenges overseas to come home.
“This is the compromise now being struck, balancing the rights with the public health risk,” the foreign minister said.
She then explained why the cost of US$20 was being asked for from some of the returning Jamaicans.
“It is within this context that people are being asked within the JAM COVID-19 app to make a contribution of US$20 per day or to make family arrangements in respect of meals.
“It has been decided by the Cabinet that in recognition of the particular challenges, the peculiarities of this week’s arrivals and the circumstances that these Jamaicans have been operating over the past two months, that the Government will absorb the full cost of state quarantine.
“So, this week’s arrivals will be supported in their entirety by the Jamaican Government.
“The overall cost of bringing home some 330 Jamaicans is approximately $64 million,” Johnson Smith said.