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Travel Tips for Jamaica

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Destination Entry Protocols and Mandatory COVID-19 Testing Before Returning to the U.S.:   Many destinations and hotels have adopted new health requirements for entry and check in. You are currently booked on a trip that could be affected by these new requirements. Some countries and resorts are requiring proof of vaccination and/or a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test result to be submitted prior to your flight, while others are administering PCR tests on arrival at an additional cost. Most countries are requiring health and temperature screening upon arrival to the airport. We encourage you to regularly check the official website for your destination as new information is being released daily. It is the responsibility of the traveler to verify prior to travel with their selected hotel, airline and destination which restrictions and changes to procedures and inclusions are in place.

If you would like information on cancelling or rescheduling your vacation with Vacation Express, please visit the Vouchers, Rebooking & Extending page linked in the footer of our website. General information on hotel and destination entry protocols can be found on the Entry Requirements page link.

In response to COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires a negative COVID-19 viral test (NAAT or antigen) for all air travelers entering the U.S. regardless of vaccination status. Effective December 6, 2021, travelers are required to provide a negative test result (paper or electronic copy), taken within 1 day of return flight to the U.S., to the airline or they will be denied boarding for their return flight. We highly recommend taking a printed copy of the test result with you to the airport. Vacation Express currently has a list of In-Destination Testing locations, as well as hotels offering on-site testing for free or at a cost. Please visit our Hotel Testing Page frequently as more information is provided and continue to check your hotel’s website for the most up to date information.

According to the CDC guidelines, if you have recently recovered from COVID-19 and are not experiencing any symptoms, it is not recommended that you get tested again in the 3 months after a positive test. If you have met the criteria to end isolation you should travel with a copy of your positive test result and a letter from your doctor or health department that states you have been cleared for travel. Visit the CDC's website for more information.

Note: All United States citizens are required to have a valid passport to re-enter the United States. Passport validity date must be at least 6 months from visitor's departure date from Jamaica. $20 Jamaica arrival tax must be paid on arrival in Montego Bay.

Size / Population: Jamaica is 4,442 square miles with a population of 2.5 million.

Political Status: Independent parliamentary democracy.

Language: English is the primary language along with the local Patois.

Currency: The Jamaican Dollar is the official currency and banks and ATMs are available and accessible. U.S. dollars are accepted in many places.
Hint: Keep all of your exchange receipts and present them upon departure when you reconvert unspent Jamaican dollars.

Electricity: 110 volts, same as U.S.

Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time; Daylight Saving Time is not observed.

Communication: To dial Jamaica from the U.S direct dial 1 + 876 + the 7-digit local number. Internet service is widely available in resorts and internet cafes. Check with your cell phone provider for international coverage.

Drinking Water: Jamaica’s tap water is safe to drink. If you are concerned, bottled water is widely available.

Transportation: There are numerous transportation options in Jamaica. Taxis are prevalent as well as local mini buses or public buses. There are several private transportation companies that cater to tourists and operate buses, cars and vans on a regular basis. Your resort can help you find transportation throughout the island. Visitors can also rent cars. Drivers must be at least 25 years old (varies by rental company) and must be in possession of a valid driver’s license and major credit card.

Local Customs: The legal drinking age is 18. Driving is on the left. Tipping: generally 15-20% in restaurants; bellmen: $1 per bag; housecleaning staff: $1-$2 per day. Many all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica include all gratuities in the package price; ask if you're unsure.

Getting Married: U.S. citizens can legally get married in Jamaica. The Ministry of Justice in Jamaica requires that all wedding documents must be on island at least 10 business days prior to wedding date. Many resorts in Jamaica offer a basic complimentary wedding package for resort guests (government administrative fees are not included). Please contact a Vacation Express representative for details on resorts offering special wedding packages and to discuss your particular wedding requirements. Our experienced group department will be happy to assist with travel arrangements for all attendees.

Wedding Requirements
The information below is a general list of requirements to perform a legal wedding ceremony in Jamaica. Please check with the Jamaica tourism department or wedding coordinator at your resort for additional information on legal requirements and fees for weddings in Jamaica. All information below is subject to change without notice.
Documentation: The bride/groom must bring original copies of the following documents:
• Original and copy of official birth certificate
• A valid, non-expired passport
• Written authorization from the parents/ guardians if the bride or groom is under 18 years of age
• Divorce or death certificate if applicable
• Original and copies of the official identification of one witness
Divorced/Widowed Travelers: Divorced or widowed parties must provide official copies of the divorce decree (Decree Absolute) or a certified death certificate
Waiting Period/Residency Requirement: The bride/groom must be in the destination for at least 24 hours prior to the wedding and must apply for a marriage license at least 48 hours prior to the wedding. All wedding documents must be sent to the resort performing the wedding ceremony at least 10 business days prior to the wedding date.
Witnesses: You must have one witness over the age 18 with official identification credentials.
Fees: The license and stamp cost is US$60 to US$65. Marriage officers charge from US$50 to US$250.
Jamaica Yellow Fever Entry Requirements              

Vaccination against yellow fever is required to prevent the importation of yellow fever virus into Jamaica where the disease does not occur but where the mosquito vector and human hosts are present.

Jamaica requires all travelers over one (1) year of age journeying from yellow fever risk countries to show proof of yellow fever vaccination by means of a valid yellow fever certificate

This also applies to all travelers transiting through countries with risk of transmission of yellow fever.

The certificate of yellow fever vaccination is valid for life, it should be administered at a yellow fever approved vaccination centre at least ten (10) days before travel; as the vaccine only offers adequate protection ten (10) days after administration.

Failure to produce a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate at a Jamaican point of entry may lead to refusal of entry, or quarantine until the traveler’s certificate is produced. Quarantine will not be longer than six (6) days.

Travellers who have an approved exemption certificate due to medical reasons will be allowed entry. They will be provided with a Health Alert Card and will be required to report fever or other symptoms daily to the health authorities. Ad hoc monitoring visits will be carried out on these visitors by the public health authorities.

The countries for which a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for entry into Jamaica are based on the WHO advisory ANNEX 1 – UPDATE – AS OF 4 FEBRUARY 2016, Countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and countries requiring yellow fever vaccination. http://www.who.int/ith/2015-ith-annex1.pdf

The countries are: Angola, Argentina, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, French Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Suriname, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, and Venezuela.

Jamaica Immigration/Customs Forms Available Online 

Digital versions of Jamaica's Immigrations/Customs forms are now online as a convenient ahead-of-time alternative to the paper declaration forms provided when traveling to Jamaica. The application can be completed anytime from the time of booking up until 24 hours prior to scheduled departure time for your flight to Jamaica.

Upon arrival, passengers who have already filled out the form online will be directed to a special line and processing will be completed by using the information you've already provided online. The application process consists of a few easy steps that can be completed in less than 5 minutes through https://enterjamaica.com. Make sure you have your passport and flight information handy when visiting the link. Each person traveling in your party will need to complete the form.

Hotel Cancellation Penalties: We understand the unexpected can happen and choosing to cancel your vacation is never an easy decision. For that reason, we are providing you with a chart of estimated cancellation penalties for our partner hotels. Visit https://www.vacationexpress.com/hotel-cancellations/ for more details.

Passenger Information with regards to rights under the Canadian Air Passenger Protection Regulations: SOR/2019-150
If you are travelling to or from a Canadian airport and are denied boarding or your baggage is lost or damaged, you may be entitled to certain standards of treatment and compensation under the Canadian Air Passenger Protection Regulations. For more information about your passenger rights please contact your operating airline or visit the website of the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA).

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