News from the OPM

PM Holness Announces Changes to Portfolio Assignment
PM Holness Announces Cabinet and Senate Appointments
PM Holness Announces Full Cabinet Appointments
Government Refocusing Efforts to Reopen the Economy; Create Jobs and Housing Opportunities
PM Announces Phased Reopening of Jamaica’s Borders with Strict Protocols
PM Holness Statement Announcing the Passing of Labour and Social Security Minister Hon. Shahine Robinson
Islandwide Nightly Curfew Restrictions for Labour Day Period

Islandwide Nightly Curfew Restrictions for Labour Day Period

May, 23 2020
As announced by the Government, the nightly islandwide curfew will be tightened for the Labour Day holiday period. Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the announcement on Monday, May 11, 2020 during an update to the nation on COVID-19. The nightly curfew which currently runs from 8pm to 5am will be adjusted for tomorrow Sunday, May 24 and on Labour Day Monday May 25. On Sunday the curfew will be from 3:00PM to 8:00AM Monday May 25. And Labour Day Monday, May 25, 2020 the hours of the curfew will run from 3:00PM to 5:00AM on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. Thereafter the nightly curfew will run from 9pm to 5am from May 26 through to May 31. According to Prime Minister Holness, business owners will use their discretion in terms of business hours to allow for their staff to be able to travel home. Also, provisions have been made for transport operators to be on the road 1-hour before and after the curfew hours. Prime Minister Holness reiterated that under the Disaster Risk Management Order, all places of amusement such as public beaches, water attractions, rivers and falls, cinemas, clubs, amusement arcade, skate rink et al should remain closed until May…
Over 1000 Jamaican Ship Workers Aboard Royal Caribbean to Arrive in Jamaica

Over 1000 Jamaican Ship Workers Aboard Royal Caribbean to Arrive in Jamaica

May, 22 2020
The Government has granted approval for the arrival of over 1000 Jamaican ship workers aboard the Adventure of the Seas operated by Royal Caribbean Cruise line. The ship docked at midday at the Falmouth Pier. Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the announcement yesterday (May 18) at a digital press conference to update the nation on the latest decision of Cabinet on COVID-19. According to Prime Minister Holness, the over 1000 ship workers will be allowed off the ship in groups of 200, directed by the health authorities. The Ministry of Health and Wellness is expected to create a sterile zone around the port to perform COVID-19 testing. Upon disembarking, persons will be transported to Bahia Principe Hotel where they will await test results. In that regard, the Prime Minister underscored that ship workers who test positive will be placed in state quarantine for 14 days and those who test negative will be allowed to home quarantine for the same period. The following applies to ship workers who will be in home quarantine; •    Their phones will be pinned for geo-tagging or location tracking •    They must do a video check-in multiple times a day In the meantime, Prime Minister Holness said the Government understands…
PM Holness Statement: Government Finalizing Negotiation to Repatriate Jamaicans

PM Holness Statement: Government Finalizing Negotiation to Repatriate Jamaicans

May, 17 2020
The Government of Jamaica from the outset of the COVID19 Pandemic has been exploring ways to safely return home our Jamaican Nationals stranded in foreign countries or on ships overseas. To achieve this, we established a controlled re-entry process which has to date seen over 350 Jamaicans return home in accordance with our quarantine regulations. We want to get our Jamaicans back home to their family and loved ones. We understand the frustration of being at sea for such a long time and now the anticipation of being close to home on the final leg of the journey. Since April 21, the Government has had formal exchanges with the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL) on how best to effectuate the return of Jamaican ship workers while at the same time fulfilling the minimum 14 days quarantine requirement. The last correspondence between RCCL and the Jamaican Government was a request from RCCL made on May 15, 2020 for a conference call with relevant agencies to work out details of the re-entry.  Up to this point, no date for arrival was agreed and no approval was given. I indicated in Parliament last Tuesday, when asked by the Opposition Spokesman on National Security,…
Jamaica Has Lost One of The Giants of Our Time

Jamaica Has Lost One of The Giants of Our Time

May, 17 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has expressed deep sadness at news of the passing of one of modern Jamaica's business and media giants, Hon. Oliver F. Clarke OJ. Prime Minister Holness has extended condolences to Mr. Clarke’s family, friends and colleagues. In a statement, Prime Minister Holness noted: “News of the death of the Hon. Oliver F. Clarke has left me deeply saddened. I had known that he was very ill but knowing the fighter that he was, I was hopeful that this battle would not be his last. For decades Oliver straddled the Jamaican business community like a Colossus. From his time as an Assistant General Manager at the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) to his last major role as Chairman of the RJRGleaner Communications Group, Oliver has been a major player in many aspects of the Jamaican and regional private sector. He may very well be lionized for the monumental role he played in moving the Gleaner Company into one of the most powerful newspapers in the English speaking Caribbean after he joined the company in 1976. Later he would play a leading role along with the late J Lester Spaulding in overseeing its merger with the Radio Jamaica…
Government Will Improve Difficulties and Delays Experienced by Jamaicans in State Quarantine

Government Will Improve Difficulties and Delays Experienced by Jamaicans in State Quarantine

May, 17 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Government is working toward expanding solutions for quarantine for citizens returning to Jamaica. The Prime Minister’s comment came yesterday, in a statement to the nation amid the difficulties faced by some Jamaicans, in state quarantine, including those who returned from overseas this week under the Controlled re-entry programme. The Prime Minister apologized unreservedly and stated that improvements are underway. “The issues encountered are completely unacceptable. I asked Ministers Christopher Tufton and Matthew Samuda to visit the quarantine facility today (May 14, 2020) to get a first-hand view of the situation. Arising from the visit, the Government has already taken some remedial actions and we will do everything we can to completely rectify the situation,” said Prime Minister Holness. In the meantime, Prime Minister Holness stated that with over 600 persons in Government quarantine facilities, the country is now at capacity. It will therefore be at least 14 days before Jamaica is able to accommodate any sizeable additional cohort. Ministries and Agencies involved have been directed to use this period to explore ways of rapidly scaling up the county’s capacity both in accommodations and logistics to ensure a positive experience for all. The Government is…
PM Holness holds teleconference with UN Secretary-General and PM of Canada

PM Holness holds teleconference with UN Secretary-General and PM of Canada

May, 17 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Wednesday (May 13) had a telephone discussion with the General Secretary of the United Nations (UN) Antonio Guterres and the Prime Minister of Canada Hon. Justin Trudeau on the challenges and impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on nations across the world particularly Small Island Developing States and the role that the leaders of Jamaica and Canada can play in mobilizing global financing. The Prime Minister was speaking from his office in Kingston, Jamaica. Both Prime Ministers Holness and Trudeau are co-chairs of the UN Group of Friends of Sustainable Goals Financing. The Group will be focusing its efforts financing resilience building, sustainable development and environment programmes as well as assisting developing countries respond to and recover from the COVID 19 pandemic. During the teleconference the leaders agreed on the importance of a coordinated multinational response to the health and socio-economic impact of the pandemic and ways to build greater and more improved resilience for nations across the world. The high-level meeting underscored the importance of building resilience amid the COVID19 pandemic which demands immediate action to address its impacts on the economies of all countries, in every region of the world and at every stage…
JamCOVID App Now Available for Download on Android Devices

JamCOVID App Now Available for Download on Android Devices

May, 14 2020
The JamCovid19 App is now available for download on Android devices via the following link https://tinyurl.com/JAMCOVID19. The app has been available on iOS devices for almost a month The application, developed through a public private partnership with Amber Group Limited, is an easy-to-use, centralized source for Government of Jamaica Covid-19 information and services. In addition to providing the latest data and statistics related to Covid-19 in Jamaica and other countries around the world, the app allows citizens to self-report their health status, book an appointment for testing if they are exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19, as well as request emergency services such as the police or ambulance services. With many Jamaicans still overseas, those who wish to return home are asked to use the immigration/travel tab within the app to register for the Government’s controlled re-entry programme. This entire process from application to approval to completing the immigration and customs declaration is managed online through the app. The public is being asked to use and share the JamCovid19 app to keep themselves and their loved ones informed and coordinated with national efforts. The Government wishes to assure Jamaicans that we care about you and that through smart and responsible behaviour,  we will…
PM Holness Pays Tribute to Award-Winning Photojournalist Michael Gordon

PM Holness Pays Tribute to Award-Winning Photojournalist Michael Gordon

May, 11 2020
The passing of Michael Gordon represents a loss to the pool of professional photographers in journalism. Michael was always meticulous about his job. He exuded a sense of pride in his work and a passion for the profession of photojournalism which will not be forgotten. His work won him the admiration of many and awards and accolades from professional bodies. For his distinguished contribution to the field of photography in media, the Government in 2016 awarded Michael Gordon the national honour of the Order of Distinction. I extend to sincere condolences to Michael's family, friends and colleagues in media particularly at the Jamaica Observer and the Jamaica Information Service where he worked.
PM Holness Expresses Sadness at the Passing of Professor Emeritus Hickling

PM Holness Expresses Sadness at the Passing of Professor Emeritus Hickling

May, 11 2020
It is with sadness that I note the passing of Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry Fredrick Hickling. Professor Hickling was one of the preeminent voices in the field of Psychiatry in Jamaica and the Caribbean. He had more than 100 publications and was a leading member in the University of the West Indies (UWI) community. In 2012, Professor Hickling received the Order of Distinction (Commander) for his globally recognized, pioneering research work in community mental health and advocacy in the field of psychiatry from the Government of Jamaica. He was Head of the Department of Community Health and Psychiatry at the UWI Mona and also served as Executive Director of the Caribbean Institute of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. He died yesterday, (May 7) at 74 years old leaving a legacy of fearless revolutionary work on mental health and human behavior. I offer my sincere condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of Professor Hickling.