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 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 must carry one less person than the maximum number of persons allowed to be carried under the relevant licence, from September 23 – October 6, 2020.
In general, Prime Minister Holness underscored the importance of the curfew measures noting that they help greatly with controlling non-productive movement. In that regard, he says young persons should be mindful of their interactions as they could pass the virus to older relatives.
“Many countries are going through this and this is the nature with which pandemics unfolds. What we are trying to minimize at this point is the deaths. Every life is valuable and every life is productive for the country and so the Government has to take the steps and measures to preserve lives”, said Prime Minister Holness.
In the meantime, effective October the Government will be expanding Anti-Gen testing for persons who are symptomatic and will be piloted at suitable sites.
“Once a safe and effective vaccine is available, it will be made freely available to Jamaicans who wish to have it,” said Prime Minister Holness.
According to Prime Minister Holness, the Ministry of Health and Wellness is reviewing the requirements for pre-testing of all tourists and nationals which remains in effect until the review process is complete.