Jamaica has lifted the travel restrictions on eight Southern African countries that had reported cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
According to jamaica-gleaner.com, Jamaica’s Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton who the announcement at a press briefing said the Cabinet signed off on the lifting of the ban with immediate effect.
The banned countries included Botswana, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.
The Omicron variant is now in more than 70 countries.
“The travel ban on any particular jurisdiction is just not practical, unless you want to totally shut out the rest of the world,” Tufton said.
Earlier, Tufton revealed that Jamaica now has more than 1.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines across four brands.
Some 200,000 new doses of the Pfizer vaccine were recently acquired from the United States.
• PFIZER: 396,630 doses
• ASTRAZENECA: 386,100 doses
• JOHNSON & JOHNSON: 130,635 doses
• SINOPHARM: 198,470 doses
To date, 1,171,553 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Jamaica.
Of that number, 626,669 have been first doses, 471,222 second doses, and 73,662, the single-dose Johnson & Johnson.
There have been 91,868 COVID-19 cases recorded in Jamaica since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 with 2,432 deaths.
There are currently 239 hospitalisations including 104 confirmed cases and 135 suspected cases.