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Jamaican travel boost

Jamaicans will be able to travel more easily to the Cayman Islands, according to Premier McKeeva Bush.

He says from next month Jamaicans coming into the country will not need a visa to visit.

Instead Jamaican nationals who hold either a United States, British or Canadian visitors visa will get in.

And any Jamaicans coming into the country either over the age of 70 or children under the age of 15 will not require any special paperwork to travel.

Previously Jamaicans needed to apply for Cayman Islands documentation if they wanted to visit.

Mr Bush said: “Effective September 1st, 2011, Jamaican nationals with a United States, British or Canadian visa, or adults over the age of 70 years and children under the age of fifteen years will not require a visa to visit the Cayman Islands.”

In an arguably retaliatory move, the Jamaicans implemented a visa restriction for Caymanians wishing to visit their Caribbean neighbours.

Both Countries restrictions have been subject to much criticism.

The announcement by Mr Bush was yesterday welcomed by the Jamaican consulate.

Elaine Harris, Vice Consul at the consulate, said: “It is a positive step in the right direction.

We are waiting to see how the Jamaicans will respond to that. Visa restrictions by both countries affected the people of both countries.

“It now means that more people will be able to travel between the countries for business so it will do good for the economy.

“There are many young children that will now be able to spend summer holidays in Cayman with their families without having to face the immigration challenges.

“The resounding applause for the Premier’s speech is a measure of how much the Jamaicans appreciate the decision.

Elaine Harris, Vice Consul at the Jamaican consulate.

“All Jamaicans are delighted to have that challenge removed and it is very good for the relations between both countries.”

Mr Bush used the recent Jamaica Independence Day celebrations to make the announcement.

He said he has always been an ardent supporter of good relations between Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

He added: “Four or Five of my school teachers have been Jamaicans.

“I am 56, and I remember the days when Caymanians went to Jamaica rather than Miami to shop.

“Oxford Pharmacy [in Jamaica] was like Wal-Mart, I know when Caymanians could only go to the University Hospital in Jamaica, I have an uncle who was buried in Spanish town.”


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