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Jamaica

If you’re travelling to Jamaica, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact

Overview

General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

General advice to avoid non-essential travel and ‘Normal Precautions’ list of exemptions:

In accordance with Government policy, which is based on official public health advice, the Department of Foreign Affairs continues to advise against non-essential travel overseas. This includes Great Britain but does not apply to Northern Ireland. It also includes all travel by cruise ship.

Travel to a very limited set of locations is exempted from this advice. Individuals arriving into Ireland from these locations will not be required to restrict their movements upon entry. These locations currently have a ‘normal precautions’ (“green”) security status rating. As of 4 August 2020, these locations are:

  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Norway
  • Slovakia

Inclusion on the list is based on the current epidemiological situation and related public health information in each location. The list and related travel advice will be reviewed on a fortnightly basis, based on advice from officials, including public health experts. Any updates or changes will be based on Government decisions. The latest updates will always be uploaded first to this General COVID-19 Travel Advisory. Country-specific tabs will be updated subsequently, and as quickly as possible, but this advisory is the primary source of information for the latest version of the list. The above list was updated on 4 August following the latest review.

If you are considering travelling outside of Ireland:

Irish citizens travelling to locations with a ‘normal precautions’ (“green”) rating are advised to follow the public health guidelines of the local health authorities and to continue to practice physical distancing measures, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette etc. The security rating for all other locations remains unchanged at either to ‘avoid non-essential travel’ (“orange”) or to ‘do not travel’ (“red”).

The purpose of the Department’s Travel Advice is to provide information to the general public so that individuals can make informed decisions for themselves.  The COVID19 pandemic continues to accelerate internationally, and there are significant risks associated with international travel. Citizens should be aware of the possible limitations to any consular assistance that could be provided. Any citizens who are considering travel abroad are advised to monitor closely our travel advice and we recommend that citizens download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. Citizens travelling abroad should also register with their local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Should you need to travel for essential reasons, you should inform yourself about any requirements in place in the destination to which you are travelling.  Flight restrictions and route cancellations are happening on a daily basis worldwide and there is no guarantee that air routes will continue to operate as scheduled. Testing and restrictions may be imposed or may already be in place in other countries. It is important to check with your insurance provider on coverage at this time.

What to do on entering Ireland from abroad:

The Irish Authorities advise anyone coming into Ireland, apart from Northern Ireland and individuals arriving in Ireland from locations with a security rating of ‘normal precautions’ (“green”), to restrict their movements for 14 days, and this includes citizens and residents returning to Ireland. Restricting your movements means staying indoors in one location and avoiding contact with other people and social situations as much as possible. To ensure that this is being observed all passengers arriving to Ireland from overseas are obliged to complete a mandatory Public Health Passenger Locator Form and to submit it to the relevant authority at their port of entry. For further details please see the Irish Government Advice Page. Exemptions are also in place for providers of essential supply chain services such as hauliers, pilots and maritime staff. Check the Irish Government Advice Page for full information on these requirements and further advice on returning from abroad.

Where to go for more information:

We continue to make updates to our online travel advice for over 200 countries and recommend that you download our TravelWise App and follow us on Twitter. If abroad you should register with your local Irish Embassy or Consulate and regularly check their website and Twitter accounts for details of any local public health measures and travel restrictions.

Overview

Security Status

Avoid non-essential travel.

Security Status Last Updated: 16 March 2020

Latest Travel Alert

COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus

In the last days, emergency responses to the COVID-19 crisis in many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have included restrictions of flights from Europe; restrictive new quarantine arrangements in Central America as well as restrictions affecting admissions of Irish people already travelling in the region to other countries in Latin America.

There are no direct transatlantic flights to Ireland from the region. Therefore, given the uncertainty around transatlantic travel options into Ireland we strongly recommend that Irish travellers make early arrangements to travel out of /from the region.

Moreover, we very strongly advise against any further travel into the region until the COVID-19 crisis has been contained there.

A number of cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Jamaica.

Important Notes:

The Government of Jamaica has announced that no passenger will be allowed to enter Jamaica by air or sea ports for 14 days.

Outgoing passengers will be allowed to leave.

See links below for details on COVID-19 in Jamaica.

Jamaican Ministry of Health and Wellness

Ministry of Health and Wellness Contact Information for COVID-19 Concerns 

Jamaican Information Service

WHO 

If you are in Jamaica, you should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice of local authorities. See links to relevant websites below.

Jamaican Information Service

Government of Jamaica

Passport, Immigration & Citizenship Agency Jamaica COVID-19 Advisory

Be alert to common signs of infection: respiratory problems, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Seek medical advice if you experience these symptoms.

HSE medical advice to protect yourself from getting COVID-19 is below.

Do:

  • wash your hands properly and regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
  • put used tissues into a bin and wash your hands

Don’t:

  • touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Additional information on COVID-19 can be found via the following links:

HSE

HPSC

ECDC

World Health Organisation

A State of Emergency has been declared in St. James Parish which includes Montego Bay. Irish citizens in the area should exercise a high degree of caution and follow local advice, including restrictions in certain areas.

There is currently an outbreak of Zika Virus (a dengue-like mosquito-borne disease) in Central and South America and the Caribbean. Irish Citizens Citizens especially those with a weakened immune system or women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant are advised to follow guidance available on the website of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) at http://www.hpsc.ie/A-Z/Vectorborne/Zika/.

Emergency Assistance

The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, start by talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

The Emergency services numbers in Jamaica are:

  • Police: 119
  • Ambulance service: 110

Because there is no Irish Embassy in Jamaica, we’re limited in the help we can offer you in an emergency. However, if you need assistance, you can contact the Honorary Consulate in Kingston or the Irish Embassy in Ottawa, Canada.

EU Directive on Consular Protection

Under the EU Consular Protection Directive, Irish nationals may seek assistance from the Embassy or Consulate of any other EU member state in a country where there is no Irish Embassy or permanent representation.

Our tips for safe travels

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities
  • Add an alert for your destination within the Travelwise App.
  • Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly in an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a family emergency
  • Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates 
  • Read our Topical ‘Know Before You Go’ guide

Safety and Security

Safety and security

Social unrest

Impromptu demonstrations can take place in non-tourist areas of the inner city of Kingston. Avoid demonstrations and public gatherings, which can sometimes turn confrontational. Always keep yourself informed of what’s going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser.

Crime

The capital of Jamaica, Kingston, is prone to high levels of crime and violence, including kidnapping. You should always take sensible precautions: 

  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place. 
  • Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home.
  • Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you’re alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business.
  • Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible.
  • Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafés, train and bus stations.
  • Avoid West Kingston and inner city areas.
  • The motive for attacks on tourists is usually robbery. In such cases, do not attempt to resist.
  • Avoid walking through the city at night, and avoid walking alone at any time.

Petty theft

Beware of pickpockets, muggers and bag snatchers, especially in areas where large numbers of people crowd together. We recommend that you stay in established hotels away from the inner city.

Lost or stolen passports

If your passport is lost or stolen, you need to report it immediately to the police. Getting a replacement passport will be easier if you are able to provide a copy of the lost or stolen one, so keep photocopies of your passport 

Reporting crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Jamaica, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Honorary Consulate in Kingston or the Irish Embassy in Ottawa.

Driving

If you’re planning to drive in Jamaica, you should be careful as there is a high rate of road traffic accidents. Traffic in Jamaica keeps to the left as in Ireland, however much of the road network, especially outside the main cities, is in a poor state of repair. If you want to drive:

  • Bring your full Irish driving licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught
  • Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights

Taxis

Avoid public buses and only use taxis regulated by the Jamaica Union of Travellers Association and ordered from a hotel for your sole use.

Hiring a vehicle

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Hurricane season

The hurricane season in the Caribbean normally runs from July to October. You should pay close attention to local and international weather reports and follow the advice of local authorities. Always monitor local and international weather updates for the region by accessing, for example, the Weather Channel, or the US National Hurricane Centre website.

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or may even be illegal.

Illegal drugs

The Jamaican authorities take the issue of illegal drugs in any quantity extremely seriously and possession of even a small amount of a prohibited substance can result in imprisonment. Conditions in Jamaican prisons are extremely harsh. The smoking of marijuana in Jamaica is not legal.

Additional Information

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

Irish citizens don’t need a visa to enter Jamaica. However, if you are unsure about the entry requirements for Jamaica, including visa and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Jamaica.

You can also check with them how long your passport must be valid for.

Passports

It’s advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.

Health

Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling to see if you need any vaccinations for Jamaica.

Communications

The international code for dialling Jamaica from Ireland is 001. The code for Kingston is 876. To call Ireland from Jamaica use the prefix 011 353. For example to call the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin dial: 011 353 1 408 2000.

ATMs

Irish ATM cards displaying the Maestro and Cirrus symbols can usually be used in ATMs in Jamaica, but you should confirm this with your bank before you leave. Always be vigilant when using ATMs.

 

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

We do not have an Embassy in Jamaica, please contact Embassy of Ireland Canada.

If you need urgent assistance you can contact the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Dublin on +353 1 408 2000.

Embassy of Ireland
Suite 1105 (11th Floor)
130 Albert Street
Ottawa
Ontario K1P 5G4
Canada

Tel: +1 613 233 6281
Fax: +1 613 233 5835

Monday to Friday 10.00am to 12.00pm and 2.00pm to 4.00pm

Contact us

Honorary Consulate Contact

Mr. Brian J. Denning
Honorary Consulate of Ireland
Penthouse - Scotiabank Centre
Corner of Port Royal & Duke Streets
Kingston
Jamaica W.I.

Tel: 1-(876) 932-8423
Fax: 1-(876) 967-1949

Email: Email us