Last updated: 20 Sep 2021

Jamaica

About

The third-largest island in the Caribbean is also one of the most colourful. Idyllic white sand beaches and vibrant tropical blooms sit on a backdrop of blue mountain peaks. As the adopted home of the Rasta, Jamaica is also a riot of red, gold, and green. Renowned as the birthplace of Bob Marley, reggae remains at the island's musical heart. Rice-and-peas, rum, coffee and cricket are its soul. Local pastimes centre on oral traditions, such as discussing an idea to exhaustion, often over a fiercely fought game of dominoes on a veranda or front porch.

Follow one of many hiking and climbing trails up the Blue Mountains to heights above 2,100m (7,000ft). Shrouded by mists that give the peaks their bluish tinge, the Blue Mountains are home to more than 200 bird species and 800 species of plants.

Dive in underwater gardens, with many sunken wrecks as well as a rainbow of sponges, corals and varicoloured fish. Spot nurse sharks, furry sea cucumber, eagle rays, upside-down jellyfish, tobacco fish and snapper in shallow spurs and grove reefs amidst an assortment of caverns.

Be sure to have a camera at the ready when dolphin-spotting in Dolphin Cove in Ocho Rios. Surrounded by tropical rainforest, the cove is home to numerous bottle nose dolphins.
Capital:  Kingston (KIN)
Currency:  Jamaican Dollar (JMD)
Language:  English. A local dialect of Patois is spoken conversationally. 
Dialling code from SA:  + 1 876
Time Zones: UTC / GMT -5 (7 hours behind South Africa)
Public Holidays 2021:

Jan 1; Feb 17; Apr 2, 5; May 23, 24; Aug 1, 2, 6; Oct 18; Dec 25, 26

Side of the Road: Left
Best Time to go: Year round destination, but high season is from December – April when rates will be higher.
Best For: Eco-tourism, island relaxation, tropical forests
Plugs: Usually 110 volts AC, 50 Hz, though some places use 220 volts AC, 60Hz. American-style flat two-pin plugs (with or without a grounding pin) are mostly used.
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink. Outside of the main towns, water may be contaminated.
Health: Within the main towns, healthcare facilities are adequate but expensive, and doctors may require upfront health insurance. Outside of the main towns, healthcare facilities are limited. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended. If you require any medication on your travels it is best to bring it with you, in the original packaging, with a signed and dated letter from your doctor detailing exactly what it is and why you need it.
Customs: Beachwear should be reserved for the poolside / beach. Some restaurants may have a formal dress code. 
Local Offences / Laws: It is illegal to possess, use or export Marijuana. Possession may lead to imprisonment and deportation. Homosexuality is prohibited.
Travel Tips / Warnings: Credit cards are widely accepted and ATM’s are widespread. Avoid walking in isolated areas. 
Duty Free: The following goods may be imported into Jamaica without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 230g of tobacco.
• 2L of alcohol
• 170ml of perfume and 340ml of eau de toilette
• US$500 of other goods (Jamaican passport holders and residents only)
Prohibited Imports: Prohibited items include narcotics, indecent or obscene prints and publications, counterfeit coins, and all publications of de Laurence Scott and Company or Red Star Publishing Company of Chicago, USA relating to divination, magic, cultism or supernatural arts. If you wish to import meat products for personal use, you must obtain an import licence.

Travel Alerts

Last updated: 09/09/2021

Jamaica is open for travel from most countries. All passengers are required to obtain a travel authorization prior to travel and may be subject to a PCR test on arrival in Jamaica.

Entry restrictions

  • Passengers travelling from or who have been in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, India, Peru, Paraguay, or Trinidad and Tobago in the past 14 days are not permitted to travel to Jamaica.
    • This does not apply to nationals of Jamaica.
  • Seafarers travelling to Jamaica in order to join a ship must submit the following information to the Maritime Authority at least 48 hours prior to arrival:
    • their name and address;
    • the name and port of entry of the ship;
    • the location of the ship;
    • the relevant employer letter and crew change and travel information sheet;
    • their Certificate of Competency or Certificate of Proficiency;
    • a copy of their temperature logs 14 days immediately preceding the application;
    • a completed crew health self-declaration form;
    • the name and contact details of the agent responsible for the transport of the seafarer from the ship; and
    • a declaration signed by the agent, that the agent will be responsible for the transportation of the seafarer to the ship and that the agent has complied with the protocols issued by a Medical Officer (Health) in relation to the safe transportation of the seafarer from the airport to the ship.

Specific regulations for vaccinated passengers

  • Fully vaccinated passengers, having received both doses of a two-dose vaccine or the single dose of a one-dose vaccine and at least 2 weeks have passed since receiving the last dose, must quarantine for 8 days on arrival. Fully vaccinated passengers will have an option of taking a PCR test and if a negative result is received, will be released from quarantine.

Form requirements

  • Passengers are not permitted to enter Jamaica if they are not holding a Travel Authorisation. The authorisation must be obtained here for residents and here for non-residents, prior to travelling to Jamaica.
    • This does not apply to nationals of Jamaica.
  • Seafarers must complete an application to enter Jamaica here.

Test requirements

  • Passengers aged 12 years or over travelling to Jamaica are required to hold a negative Covid-19 PCR, NAA, RNA or antigen test result from an accredited medical laboratory obtained within 3 days prior to departure.
    • The test must be authorized by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) or meet the standards of the World Health Organization (WHO), and must be performed by a College of American Pathologists (CAP) accredited, Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) registered or ISO 15189 certified laboratory.

Quarantine and testing on arrival

  • Jamaican nationals and residents may be subject to a Covid-19 PCR or Antigen test on arrival in Jamaica if assessed as high risk as a result of exhibiting symptoms and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival.
  • Passengers travelling for business purposes will be subject to a Covid-19 RT-PCR test at their own cost on arrival in Jamaica. Passengers must quarantine until a result is received under the 'Quarantine for Business Traveller' measure. If a negative result is received, the passenger will be released from quarantine but must remain under the 'Stay at Intended Address for Business Travellers' measure for the duration of their stay. If a positive result is received, passengers will be required to quarantine at their hotel/intended address or in a government facility as determined by Jamaican health authorities.
  • Passengers travelling for tourism purposes and staying at an approved 'Resilient Corridor' accommodation will be subject to health screening and risk assessment on arrival in Jamaica. Passengers who exhibit symptoms of Covid-19 will be subject to a test on arrival and must await the result in their hotel room. If a negative result is received, the passenger will be permitted to leave the hotel room and continue their stay under the 'Stay in Resilient Corridor' measure. If a positive result is received, the passenger will be quarantined in the hotel/resort or in a government facility as determined by Jamaican health authorities.
    • This does not apply to nationals and residents of Jamaica.
  • Passengers travelling to Jamaica and not staying in an approved 'Resilient Corridor' accommodation will also be subject to health screening and risk assessment on arrival and a RT-PCR or Antigen test if they exhibit symptoms of Covid-19. These passengers must quarantine for 14 days on arrival at home or in a government facility as determined by Jamaican heath authorities.
    • This does not apply to nationals and residents of Jamaica.

This Information is intended as a Guideline.

Issuing Authorities

Jamaican High Commission
Office W2, 2nd floor, Brooklyn Court, 361 Veale Street, Brooklyn, Pretoria
Tel: (012) 366 8500
Fax: (012) 366 8510
Hours: 08:30-16:30 Mon-Thur and 08:30-16:00 Fri
E-mail: info@jhcpretoria.co.za
Web: https://jhcpretoria.co.za/

Visa Requirements

Visas are not required by SA passport holders for a stay of up to 90 days. Ensure passport is valid for a minimum of 6 months from date of entry and that the holder is in possession of a return or onward airticket.

Proof of funds for the duration of stay will be required to be produced to the Immigration officer's in Jamaica as well as proof of accommodation. 
If travelling on business for a period longer than 30 days, a visa IS required and passenger is to contact the High Commission for details.

If travelling on a cruise through Jamaica, a visa is not required.

SA Representative

Also accredited to Barbados, Grenada, Guyana,  St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines and Suriname.
South African High Commission
15 Hillcrest Avenue, Kingston 6
Tel: +1 876 620 4840
E-mail: kingston.dha@dirco.gov.za

 

Travel Health

Compulsory:  Yellow Fever (Dependant on Country of Origin/Stopover)
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis A & B, Tetanus, Polio
  Malaria Risk