News from the OPM

Government Extends COVID-19 Enforcement Measures Until October 7
PM Holness Reassures that When a Safe Vaccine is Approved, it will be Available to the Public
Holness Administration Energized and Committed to Jamaica Recovering Stronger
PM Holness Charges State Ministers to be “Champions of Policy and Advocacy”
Prime Minister Announces Complete Slate of Government Senators
PM Mourns the Passing of Legendary Reggae Singer, Toots
Government Extends COVID-19 Enforcement Measures Until October 7

Government Extends COVID-19 Enforcement Measures Until October 7

September, 22 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced an extension of the nightly islandwide curfew for a further 14 days as well as other measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Jamaica. The two weeks extension of the nightly islandwide curfew comes ahead of tomorrow’s expiration of the current measures. The extended curfew measure takes effect at 8:00 PM Wednesday, September 23 and expires at 5:00 AM on Wednesday, October 7, 2020. Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the announcement today (Tuesday, September 22) during a virtual press conference at the OPM Media Centre. Further to the announced extension  or the nightly curfew, the public should adhere to following which expires on Tuesday, October 6; Gatherings remain at maximum 15 persons. For any such gatherings, social distance of the minimum 6ft must be maintained. Churches are prohibited from hosting funeral services, conventions and other special events. Worship services may continue within the existing guidelines, requiring temperature checks, sanitization and the mandatory wearing of masks during services. Burials may continue, with no more than 15 persons at the graveside, including the clergy and the funeral home personnel. Employers are encouraged to allow employees to work from home where possible. Persons 70 years and…
PM Holness Reassures that When a Safe Vaccine is Approved, it will be Available to the Public

PM Holness Reassures that When a Safe Vaccine is Approved, it will be Available to the Public

September, 22 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced that when a safe vaccine is approved, the Government will make it freely available to all Jamaicans who wish to obtain it. Speaking this afternoon at a press conference to update the nation on the Government's management of Covid-19, Prime Minister Holness explained that Jamaica is a part of the World Health Organization Covid-19 Global Access Facility, called COVAX. The facility is designed to accelerate equitable access to appropriate, safe, and effective vaccines by countries globally. In that regard, he asserted that the Government does not take risks with the health of the citizens. “Jamaica has been very conservative and very cautious in approving and using new medicines vaccines tests, we have an Ethics Committee in the Ministry of Health. They maintain a very high standard, and they also align their approvals with the highest authorities on these matters in the world, WHO and PAHO. SO we are not taking any risks with the health of the people, so once a vaccine an available, we look at it, we study it, and we conclude it is safe, then we will make it available to all who would want to vaccine,” said Prime Minister Holness…
Holness Administration Energized and Committed to Jamaica Recovering Stronger

Holness Administration Energized and Committed to Jamaica Recovering Stronger

September, 16 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness says with the energy and commitment of the entire team of Parliamentarians, he is optimistic that Jamaica will recover stronger. The Prime Minister was speaking at the start of the new Parliamentary term yesterday (September 15) following the swearing-in of Senators and Members of Parliament at the Jamaica Conference Centre. Prime Minister Holness used the occasion to set the tone for the new term as he emphasized the reforms to come in education, upgrading critical infrastructure, digitization of all government services, and the pursuit of a national identification system which will allow Jamaicans greater convenience in transacting business and interfacing with and accessing government services and benefits. The Prime Minister noted that the Government has committed to growing the education sector and developing solid human resources, this with a renewed focus on schools specializing in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and the Arts. “The Government has committed to fast tracking the development of six STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) focused schools, and we will also build one school for the creative and the performing arts. There is a reason we have to do this, and very quickly, Jamaica has been left behind in many of…
PM Holness Charges State Ministers to be “Champions of Policy and Advocacy”

PM Holness Charges State Ministers to be “Champions of Policy and Advocacy”

September, 15 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has encouraged the newly minted Ministers of State to be advocates of policy and public affairs. The Prime Minister says that with the swearing in of the Ministers of State, their responsibility is to support their Cabinet Ministers in explaining to the public policy decisions that have been tabled. According to the Prime Minister there are areas within every policy that need, advocacy and a clear breakdown to every citizen. With the swearing in of the nine Ministers of State, Prime Minister Andrew Holness stated that the Ministers represent a good mix of youth and experience. “You have great room and you also have great responsibility. Work along with your Ministers,  and support them; there is a saying that “if you want to be a General in the Army, you have to start off by being a good Private and I believe that is a word to the wise,” said Prime Minister Holness. Those appointed are: 1. The Honourable Marsha Smith – State Minister, Finance and Public Service 2. Senator the Honourable Leslie Campbell – State Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade 3. The Honourable Juliet Cuthbert Flynn – State Minister, Health…
Prime Minister Announces Complete Slate of Government Senators

Prime Minister Announces Complete Slate of Government Senators

September, 15 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has selected the full slate of thirteen persons to be appointed to the Upper House of Parliament on the Government side. The 21-Member Senate is comprised of 13 Government Senators and 8 Opposition Senators. Four of the Senators have already been sworn in. Three as Cabinet Ministers and one as Minister of State. The following is the complete list of Government Senators. Senator the Hon. Kamina Elizabeth Johnson Smith Senator the Hon. Matthew Peter Samuda Senator the Hon. Aubyn Rochester Hill Senator the Hon. Leslie Roy Campbell Senator the Hon. Thomas George Lewis Tavares-Finson, OJ, QC, JP Senator Kavan Anthony Gayle Senator Ransford Braham, QC Senator Charles Anthony Sinclair Senator Donald George Wehby Senator Mayor Cllr Delroy Hugh Williams Senator Dr. Saphire Indera Longmore Senator Natalie Simone Terry-Ann Campbell Rodriques Senator Sherene Samantha Golding Campbell The 21-Member Senate and 63-Members of the House of Representatives will be sworn in tomorrow (September 15) in a ceremony at the Jamaica Conference Centre.The venue is being used to facilitate social distancing in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic.
PM Mourns the Passing of Legendary Reggae Singer, Toots

PM Mourns the Passing of Legendary Reggae Singer, Toots

September, 14 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has expressed saddness at the death of Reggae icon Frederick 'Toots' Hibbert. Frederick 'Toots' Hibbert died last night (Friday September 11) in hospital. He was 77 years old. Prime Minister Holness said: "The passing of our very own legendary Reggae singer Frederick 'Toots' Hibbert  represents a loss to the musical landscape. Only last year he paid a courtesy call on me and we spoke about his evolution in music and his contribution to brand Jamaica through music. 'Toots' was a soul rocker and a stellar performer having brought recognition to Jamaica through the iconic band, 'Toots and the Maytals'. He was certainly one of Jamaica’s finest artistes who will never be forgotten." Frederick 'Toots' Hibbert won the heart and soul of many in Jamaica and across the world with hits such as 'Bam Bam' and '54/46' He received many awards and accolades for his achievements in music from various organizations. The Government of Jamaica also bestowed the award of Reggae Icon on 'Toots' through the Ministry of Culture. For the Jamaica 58 celebrations in August, 'Toots' entered the Festival song competition; it was this same competition which helped to launch his career in the 1960s, his entry…
New Slate of Cabinet Ministers Named

New Slate of Cabinet Ministers Named

September, 11 2020
Consequent on the General Elections held on September 3, 2020, the Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness has today (September 11) announced that the following Ministers and the Attorney General will be appointed.  The Cabinet Ministers (other than those already sworn in) and the Attorney General will take the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Office during a ceremony at King’s House on Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 4 p.m. The swearing in ceremony for Ministers of State will be held on Monday, September 14, 2020 at 3 p.m. at the same venue. CABINET MINISTERS 1. Andrew Holness – Prime Minister, Defence, Economic Growth and Job Creation 2. Dr Horace Anthony Chang – Deputy Prime Minister and National Security 3. Dr. Nigel Clarke – Finance and the Public Service 4. Senator Kamina Johnson Smith – Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade 5. Dr Christopher Tufton – Health and Wellness 6. Desmond McKenzie – Local Government and Rural Development 7. Olivia Grange – Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport 8. Edmund Bartlett – Tourism 9. Robert Montague - Transport and Mining 10. Fayval Williams – Education, Youth and Information 11. Delroy Chuck – Justice 12. Daryl Vaz – Energy, Science and Technology 13. Karl…
PM Holness Pays Tribute to First Woman Senate President

PM Holness Pays Tribute to First Woman Senate President

September, 08 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has expressed sadness at the passing of Jeanette Grant-Woodham, the first woman Senate President of Jamaica. Mrs Grant-Woodham died this morning. Prime Minister Holness said; “Jeanette was a trailblazer. Words such as, “first woman to ever”, can be attached to many of her accomplishments in the areas of politics and education. Jeanette pushed boundaries, broke barriers, and did the seemingly impossible. May her soul Rest In Peace.” In 1970, Jeanette Grant-Woodham became the first principal of the Tivoli Gardens Comprehensive High School. In 1980, the members of the Senate of Jamaica elected her as its Deputy President. In 1984, she became the first female President of the Senate of Jamaica and in 1986, she was appointed Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Trade and Industry. In 1993, she served as Executive Director of the Jamaican Institute of Management, and in 1994 was among the first four female Certified Trainers by the Institute of Public Leadership. The Prime Minister has extended his deepest condolences to the family and friends  of Mrs Jeanette Grant-Woodham who he describes as an outstanding Jamaican.
Tighter Restrictions Announced as Government Again Seeks to Flatten the Curve After Spike in COVID-19 Cases

Tighter Restrictions Announced as Government Again Seeks to Flatten the Curve After Spike in COVID-19 Cases

September, 08 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced several changes to COVID-19 restrictions aimed at stemming the increase in positive cases of the virus. Beginning today (September 8) the nightly islandwide curfew will be from 8pm to 5am the following day. The new measures will end September 23, 2020, when further amended measures will be announced. In addition to tightening the curfew hours; Gatherings have been reduced from 20 to 15 persons. For any such gatherings, social distance of the minimum 6ft must be maintained. Churches are prohibited from hosting funeral services, conventions and other special events. Burials may continue, with no more than 15 persons at the graveside, including the clergy and the funeral home personnel. Worship services may continue within the existing guidelines, requiring temperature checks, sanitization and the mandatory wearing of masks during services. Employers are encouraged to allow employees to work from home where possible. Persons 70 years and older are required to work from home and otherwise, must stay home. They are however permitted to leave home once per day for medical care, food, exercise and other essentials of life. Taxi operators should now carry one person less than the maximum number of persons allowed to be carried under…