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Monday, May 04, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson Smith, says the island will welcome home its first cohort of 115 returning nationals on Wednesday.

Addressing a digital press conference at Jamaica House a short while ago, Johnson Smith said the group, which will include the 43 crew members of the Marella Discover 2, will arrive on a TUI charter from the United Kingdom.

“As I had indicated two press briefings ago, we were looking forward to welcoming our nationals back as soon as the ship owners recognise their obligations. This they did, as confirmed by letter dated on April 23,” Johnson Smith said.

The passengers, she added, will also include members from six other cruise lines, and other Jamaicans who have been stranded in the UK due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

She told the briefing that Government is also working on a cohort from the United States, stressing that only those who are having the “most challenging of circumstances” will be given priority.

Johnson Smith emphasised that the arriving passengers on Wednesday will be State quarantined for 14 days,

She added that the overall cost for returning a total of 330 Jamaicans including the 115 on Wednesday will cost the Government some $64 million for accommodation and meals.

Mark Cummings


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