Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced that the Government has already reviewed the closing hours for businesses in areas where there is a State of Public Emergency.
Prime Minister Holness made the disclosure in Parliament last night (September 17) as he spoke on the motion he brought to extend the State of Emergency in the parishes of St. Catherine and Clarendon.
According to Prime Minister Holness, adjustments have been made to the business hours which is a direct result of the dialogue between citizens and Government.
“As Prime Minister, I am not aloof or separate or way above what is happening. In today’s world, citizens can communicate directly with their prime minister. I get hundreds of messages about what is happening in the SOEs. I am here to reassure Members of Parliament that this Government, my administration, my leadership we are doing everything to ensure that these extraordinary powers are not abused. So, I have gotten the calls from the business people, in Portmore, in May Pen all over where we have the States of Public Emergency. We’ve got the calls and the complaints. We hear and we understand,” said Prime Minister Holness in Parliament last night.
The Prime Minister said adjustments have already been made to the closing times for businesses in the parishes of Westmoreland, St. James and Hanover. The closing times were previously 7 pm and have now been adjusted to midnight.
Prime Minister Holness noted that the Opposition has a role to play in the implementation of the State of Public Emergency which is a tool for crime-fighting.
“The intentions of the Government no doubt will always be good. The intention of this Government is to preserve life; to increase public order and public safety,” asserted the Prime Minister.
In the spirit of cooperation, the Government accepted a compromise position to extend the State of Public Emergency in St. Catherine and Clarendon by 30 days.
The Government wants the extension for 90 days.