Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett
The surge in coronavirus cases in the United States has started to take a toll on tourist arrivals to Jamaica just weeks after the reopening of the country's borders.
Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett made the disclosure Friday during a virtual media briefing.
The US has experienced record-breaking coronavirus cases and deaths in recent weeks.
Mr. Bartlett did not elaborate on the extent of the impact on US arrivals.
"There's really no way to say it, except that coronavirus has impacted arrivals, full stop. And the whole world, in fact tourism came to a halt as a result. So what we all are trying to do now is to restore the tourism economy and to bring back tourists in a very controlled and safe way," he insisted.
Mr. Bartlett revealed that Jamaica received more than 35,000 visitors since the phased reopening of the tourism sector on June 15. The figure was made of tourists as well as returning Jamaicans.
He expects an additional 30,000 visitors to arrive in the country by the end of this month.
Record US coronavirus cases
According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the United States reported a daily record of 63,247 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.
It is the second time this week the U.S. topped its record for new infections reported in a 24-hour period as outbreaks expand across a number of states, mostly across the American South and West.
California, Florida and Texas reported more than 30,400 new cases collectively on Tuesday, accounting for nearly half all new cases in the U.S.
The U.S. has reported about 53,699 new cases on average over the last seven days, a record high seven-day average, up nearly 17.6% compared with a week ago.
According to a CNBC analysis, the U.S. seven-day average has hit a new record every day for more than two weeks.
White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has warned that the U.S. is not in total control of the coronavirus pandemic and daily new cases could surpass 100,000 new infections per day if the outbreak continues at its current pace.
Dr. Fauci has urged officials in states where the outbreak is worsening to reconsider their reopening plans.
Instead of totally shutting down or totally reopening, he told lawmakers Thursday, states should constantly update their restrictions, tailoring them to what is currently known about the virus.