KINGSTON, Jamaica – Normalcy has returned to the island’s tourism sector after Jamaica was spared the brunt of Hurricane Matthew. The system, which did not make landfall in Jamaica, is now making its way along the western coast of Haiti. This as the Meteorological Service of Jamaica has indicated that though Matthew remains a Category 4 system the tropical storm warning has been discontinued, as the system is no longer considered a threat to the island. They have underscored that severe flooding is less likely today as the system moves further away from Jamaica.
The Office of Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management (ODPEM) has scaled down activities at the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) to Level 1 activation, in light of the reduction in the threat level of Hurricane Matthew. Consequently the Tourism Emergency Operations Centre (TEOC), located at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, has now been deactivated.
The Sangster International Airport continues normal operations while the Norman Manley International Airport returned to regular operations at midday today. All sea ports will also reopen at 3:00 pm today, while cruise ships are scheduled to arrive in port tomorrow, October 5.
While commending tourism partners for being vigilant during the passage of Matthew, Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett emphasized that “tourism activities are now back to normal as the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) has outlined that there have been no reports of damage to tourism entities and all tourism partners are back to regular operations.”
“Normalcy is also returning to the wider economy as all government ministries, departments and agencies reopened at 10:00 am today and local businesses are returning to normal operations. The public transportation system has also resumed a limited service today. So Jamaica is definitely opened for business,” he added.