Mandatory Life Vests At Blue Lagoon Reopening in June, Reach Falls Temporarily Closes

Visitors to the refurbished Blue Lagoon will be required to wear life vests to swim when it reopens on June 1. The new safety measure is part of a list of policies implemented by Jamaica National Heritage Trust to better manage the operations of this world famous attraction in Port Antonio, Portland.

As quoted in a Jamaica Observer article, Director of Public Relations public education, public relations, and communication at the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT) Lorna Bailey notes,

“We are looking at allowing a maximum 45 persons within the space at any given time, and looking to have a rotation on the hour, every hour, as we cannot allow for too many persons to be in the space. The space has to be controlled.”

Watch: Tour of the Gorgeous Blue Lagoon Prior to Refurbishing Works

Reach Falls’ Temporary Closure

In the meantime, Jamaica’s Urban Development Corporation (UDC) announced that popular Portland tourist attraction Reach Falls will be closed until further notice following a discovery that a chemical leak into a neighboring river triggered concerns about the facility’s safety. The UDC said chemicals likely contaminated Driver’s River, a water source that feeds into Reach Falls.

Notice Given of Temporary Closure

In response to the suspected chemical leak, the UDC issued a notice on April 22, 2023, stating the facility’s temporary closure.

Explore: Aerial View of Portland, Beautiful Sea View, Country Life 

Agencies Support Closure Decision

A joint visit to the site by representatives of the UDC, National Fisheries Authority (NFA), and the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), resulted in all the agencies agreeing that the closure should remain in place to serve the best interests of the public.

Watch: Tour of Reach Falls, Portland 

Release Outlines Clean-Up Efforts

According to communications from the UDC, the clean-up of the Driver’s River continues, and it is hoped that Reach Falls will be open to visitors again soon. The agency also apologized for any inconvenience arising from the closure and thanked the public for its patience regarding the issue. The UDC also promised to provide more information when the facilities are again open to the public.

A Top Tourist attraction

Reach Falls is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Jamaica. Located in the Montane Forest in the John Crow Mountains, it provides visitors with an optimal mix of comfort, relaxation, and adventure. The waterfall cascades down a rocky face to an emerald-green river pool. In addition to swimming and hiking, the Reach Falls area features a picnic area and a guided tour of the Driver’s River that includes a visit to an underwater cave. The Falls are also home to 23 species of ferns and many bird varieties. It was featured in Hollywood films, including “Cocktail” and a remake of “Lord of the Flies.”

UDC Oversight

Jamaica’s Urban Development Corporation (UDC) is one of the top urban and rural development agencies in the Caribbean. Established in 1968, its mission is to transform viable urban centers and strategic rural locations while preserving the island’s natural environment and boosting economic development.

Photo – Deposit Photos

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