Reopening guide to Jamaica for tourists
Editor’s note: This post was originally published on June 15, 2020, and was updated with new information on Nov. 6, 2021.
Even though Jamaica reopened for tourism in June 2020, the island country continues to update its guidance for travelers. Health advisories remain fluid, so if you're planning a trip to Jamaica, it's best to keep a close watch on the current protocols for safe travell.
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What you need to visit Jamaica
Jamaica is currently under Travel Advisory Level 3 meaning the Department of State advises U.S. citizens to reconsider travel, due to health and safety measures and COVID-related conditions. As of Sept. 7, Jamaica was also on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s list of places to avoid traveling to due to increasing case levels of COVID-19.
If you do plan to travel, you will need an approved Travel Authorization form prior to boarding a flight to Jamaica. The form must be submitted within seven days of the intended travel date. Additionally, all travelers ages 12 and up are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test performed by an accredited lab for which the sample was collected within three days of the travel date.
Upon arrival, tourists must remain within the COVID-19 resiliency corridor comprised of two parts. The first part spans the northern coastline between Negril and Portland along the main road. The second part spans the South Coast segment running from Milk River in Clarendon westward to Negril in Westmoreland Only hotels, villas, apartments, guest houses and home stays that are designated as COVID-19 Protocol Compliant Approved Listings are permitted to host guests during this time.
Related: Reopening guide to the Caribbean
How to get there
Sangster International (MBJ) is the largest airport in Jamaica and is based in Montego Bay. Major airlines such as American, Delta, JetBlue and Southwest all have a variety of flights to MBJ and other parts of Jamaica.
Related: Visiting Jamaica with family
American Airlines has multiple non-stop flights from MIA to MBJ in January. A roundtrip flight starts at $259 for basic economy, $339 for main cabin or 20,000 miles ($141.76) and $804 for business class or 70,000 miles (+$141.76).
You could fly via Delta Airlines from ATL to MBJ in January. Roundtrip tickets for basic economy starts at $390, main cabin is $415 or 23,000 miles (+148), Delta Comfort+ seats are at $748 or 53,000 miles (+$142) and first class seats are $1,689 or 157,000 miles (+$142) per person.
Related: 9 of the best ways to use points in the Caribbean
Where to Stay
Major hotel chains have properties throughout Jamaica. From Hilton’s Montego Bay all-inclusive resort, the Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa, as well as Hyatt’s all-inclusive properties Zilara Rose Hall and AC Marriott in Kingston are on the list of approved hotels from Jamaica's Tourism board.
Hilton's Rose Hall Resorts & Spa starts at $334 per night for a January stay. The all-inclusive resort includes meals, beach activities, access to Sugar Mill Falls Waterpark and more in Montego Bay.
If you wanted to stay at Hyatt’s Zilara Rose Hall an adults-only, all-inclusive resort in January it would cost $526 per night or 40,000 World of Hyatt points per night. All meals, drinks (including alcoholic beverages), 24-hour room service, entertainment and non-motorized sports are included in your stay.
Related: Review of the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall
In Kingston there are many options on the approved list as well. One of them is Marriott's AC Hotel Kingston, which starts at $153 per night for a January stay. It is a category 4 hotel which will set you back 20,000 points per night for off-peak days, 25,000 per night for standard and 30,000 per night for peak. Note that come March 2022, Marriott is switching to dynamic award pricing, and will do away with its existing award charts.
Additional reporting by Clint Henderson and Liz Ramanand.
The birthplace of reggae, Jamaica is a perennial favorite with travelers. Clear guidelines make it easy for international visitors to enjoy everything this destination has to offer. There are many more options for nonstop flights are available on major carriers and hotel options exist in popular loyalty program categories.