Stakeholders in the local tourism industry are calling on the government to maintain strict enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines for all travellers from the UK following the decision not to extend the UK travel ban.

The ban which was imposed in December last year was twice extended. However last week the government announced there would be no further extension.

The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, JHTA, is leading the call. It’s urging the authorities not to let down their guards.

In a press release this morning, JHTA President Clifton Reader, stated that while the ban has expired, his association is keen on ensuring that there’s a clear and concise policy immediately enforced to maintain Jamaica’s safety.

Mr. Reader noted that he’d received reports that over 50 per cent of UK residents have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

However, the JHTA head was quick to point out that the UK is the European gateway to the world.

This means that many non-residents transit through UK airports to access other countries such as Jamaica.

He also used the opportunity to stress the need for incoming returning residents and visitors to continue to follow the existing safety protocols including mask-wearing, physical distancing, and sanitizing.

Several countries are experiencing a third wave of the coronavirus with India and Turkey being ravaged by the disease which has claimed millions of lives.

In India, almost 20-million cases have been confirmed and 216-thousand deaths. Turkey has recorded 152 million cases and more than 3-million deaths.

According to the Jamaica Tourst Board, since reopening its borders last June, Jamaica has welcomed approximately 1-point-5-million visitors under the island’s robust health and safety protocols.