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Government Tightens Curfew Measures Amid Rise in Covid-19 Cases

Government Tightens Curfew Measures Amid Rise in Covid-19 Cases

The Government has implemented new curfew measures for some parishes amid the spike in Covid-19 cases.

Effective tomorrow, Saturday August 22, 2020, the nightly curfew in the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew and, St, Catherine will begin from 7 pm to 5 am until 5 am on September 2, 2020.

Residents in Kingston and St. Andrew and St. Catherine will now join residents in the parishes of St. Thomas and Clarendon with similar curfew times and extended Covid-19 measures.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the announcement today, August 21, in a press conference to update the nation on the decisions made by the Cabinet concerning Covid-19.

The measures fall under the Disaster Risk Management Act. The amended measures for the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Catherine, Clarendon, and St. Thomas are:

  • The nightly curfew will now begin at 7 pm until 5 am,
  • The protocols regarding travel time for drivers of public passenger vehicles one hour before and after the curfew remain the same,
  • Churches are prohibited from holding funeral services and conventions; however, regular church services are permitted,
  • Burials are permitted with only 15 persons at the burial site,
  • All meetings for organizations must follow the gathering rules of no more than 20 people.
  • There must be no outdoor meetings.

The Prime Minister also announced several measures specific to the general election campaign which will be implemented on August 22.

  • Motorcades carrying party supporters by bus will be prohibited
  • A maximum of two coasters will be allowed to carry staff and key persons maintaining the rules for public transportation, there should be no standing and no more than 15 persons in the coaster buses.
  • Cars are allowed with no more than four persons.
  • Drive throughs will still be allowed however there will be no stopping and greeting during the drive-throughs,
  • Five persons will be allowed to walk door to door for campaigning and distribution of materials.

In that regard, Prime Minister Holness stated that the Government is equipped with the resources to manage the pandemic, as the country must come to terms with living with the Covid-19. He also added that though the rise in cases is a cause for serious concern, it is not a cause for panic.

“Yes, it is cause for concern, but there is absolutely no need for panic. The Government of Jamaica continues to manage the epidemic on a day to day basis, and I keep track and a direct hand in the management of the pandemic. Even in the time of a campaign, we have ensured that there is no distraction, and indeed there is no other matter that we treat more seriously than the management of the pandemic. So, you can rest assured that the Government is making the best decisions not only for your safety but also for your livelihood”, said Prime Minister Holness.

Importantly, the Prime Minister noted that the police will observe and report on all activities. He said if the regulations regarding campaigning are not followed, action will be taken against those who breach the regulations.

In the meantime, the Prime Minister stated that the Ministry of Local Government will address the opening of beaches, rivers, water parks, and other places of amusement within the named parishes.