News from the OPM

Government Extends DRM Orders and Adjusts Weekend Curfew Restrictions
PM Holness Calls on Developed Countries Not Hoard Vaccines
Government Committed to Developing Entertainment
Government Extends DRM Orders and Adjusts Weekend Curfew Restrictions
Prime Minister Holness Expresses Sadness at the Passing of Joseph Mahfood
Jamaica Ready to Provide Support to St. Vincent and the Grenadines – Prime Minister Holness
Jamaica Has Lost a Pioneer in Reggae – PM Holness

Jamaica Has Lost a Pioneer in Reggae – PM Holness

March, 02 2021
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has expressed sadness at the death of legendary Reggae singer, songwriter Neville “Bunny Wailer, ”Livingston. Neville Livingston died this morning while in Hospital. He was 73 years old. Affectionately called “Jah B”, he was a founding member of the Wailers which included the Honourable Robert Nesta Marley and Peter Tosh. Considered one of the longtime standard bearers of Reggae music, “Bunny Wailer” rose from humble beginnings and catapulted to a giant on the reggae stage. Neville “Bunny Wailer” Livingston won the heart and soul of many across the globe with hits such as “Keep on moving” and “Cool runnings” Prime Minister Holness said; “Bunny Wailer has made a tremendous impact on the world setting the stage for a global movement a love for Rocksteady and reggae music. His legendary performances have touched the hearts and souls of millions of fans in Jamaica and across the world. Many generations have been privileged to have been exposed to his conscious music." The three time grammy winner has received countless awards throughout  his musical career.  In 2012, the Government of Jamaica bestowed on him, the Order of Jamaica and then in 2017 the Order of Merit, the country’s fourth…
Government Considers Allowing Some Quick Service Industries to Operate During Curfew Hours

Government Considers Allowing Some Quick Service Industries to Operate During Curfew Hours

March, 01 2021
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced that a Cabinet sub-committee is working with the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) to develop a model through which the quick service industry may be able to operate during curfew hours. Speaking yesterday (February 28, 2021), at a media briefing to update the country on changes made to the Disaster Risk Management Act, Prime Minister Holness noted that businesses have found innovative ways to serve the public through the growth of the delivery economy. This, he said, is evidenced by the emergence of several online malls and food delivery apps. “I had a presentation from the PSOJ a few nights ago which showed how delivery could be done. So, we have a subcommittee of Cabinet looking at how we could implement it. We have agreed that we will test it in a geographical area, and as soon as those details are refined, we will bring that solution to the country,” said Prime Minister Holness. This, the Prime Minister also stated, is the Government’s attempt to keep production going during the curfew hours. The Prime Minister said: “In doing a balancing act of controlling the spread of the virus and maintaining production, we recognize businesses…
No Politics and Favoritism Around COVID-19 Vaccination – PM Holness

No Politics and Favoritism Around COVID-19 Vaccination – PM Holness

March, 01 2021
Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Government has given great consideration to its deliberations on the Covid-19 vaccines, being careful to ensure the selection of only safe and approved vaccines for Jamaica. The Prime Minister says while much has been said  about the Government’s handling of the process to acquire vaccines, the Government continues to work assiduously behind the scenes until the discussions are at a point where they can be publicly disclosed. “The fact that  vaccine discussions have not been made public is not indicative of a lack of action by the Government," said Prime Minister Holness. The Prime Minister notes that the gap between the point of initiation of negotiations and the point of fruition resulted in the creation of an unhelpful narrative around Jamaica’s vaccine preparation. He says  persons have sought to exploit that gap by creating narratives of chaos and confusion which is  quite unfortunate especially concerning a matter of such great national importance. According to the Prime Minister, the Government of Jamaica was among the first to declare that once there is an “available and certified as safe vaccine” the Government will accept it on behalf of the people. The Prime Minister disclosed; “We have…
PM Holness Announces New COVID-19 Measures With Immediate Effect

PM Holness Announces New COVID-19 Measures With Immediate Effect

March, 01 2021
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced new and stricter COVID-19 measures under the Disaster Risk Management Act, effective March 1. The Government has implemented these measures amid an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations. According to Prime Minister Holness, the Government has been forced to shift policy efforts in order to preserve lives and livelihoods. “We have to take these drastic actions because citizens are not displaying the level of responsibility and compliance necessary,” said Prime Minister Holness. The new measures are as follows; Effective March 1 - The islandwide curfew remains at 8:00pm to 5:00am day to day and expires at 5:00am on March 23, 2021. All places of worship, including churches will engage in only online services. However, a maximum of 10 persons are allowed inside the worship centre to facilitate online broadcasting. Zoos, Parks, Gyms, Attractions and Bars will close at 6:00pm until March 22. Public Beaches and rivers will close until March 22. Only students sitting exit exams (PEP, CSEC/CAPE) will be permitted to have face-to-face classes. This is applicable to both Public and Private institutions. Persons 60 years and older must Stay-at-Home. Public Sector entities must host all social events online, if at all Effective March 4 - Strict…
PM Holness Welcomes Recreation Center and Distributes Tablets to Infant Schools in Olympic Gardens

PM Holness Welcomes Recreation Center and Distributes Tablets to Infant Schools in Olympic Gardens

February, 25 2021
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has broken ground for the Andrews Mews Health Centre in Olympic Gardens, St Andrew. The ceremony took place on Friday February 9, the at lot site 155 Olympic Way. The Centre will be fully equipped with amenities for children, jogging and walking trail, a green space among others. In his keynote address, the Prime Minister said: “The big picture is to create an urban space that is almost like a town centre that is functional for the people who will use it. So right in this area, right in this stretch, you have the infant school, you will have your community park, then a few lots down, you will have the clinic which there are plans to do a total repair of that and right beside it, the Olympic Gardens police station.” The Prime Minister also said there are plans to build another infant school and golden age home in his West Central St. Andrew constituency. Additionally two more parks will be developed in the Olympic and Seivwright Gardens divisions. The developments forms part of a wider strategy to create structured spaces for recreation. “We are transforming the community and making the lives of people much…
Government to Reallocate Fund for COVID-19 Vaccination Public Education

Government to Reallocate Fund for COVID-19 Vaccination Public Education

February, 25 2021
Cabinet is to reconsider the allocation of funding for Public Education and promotion on COVID-19 Vaccines. Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the increased public outcry for the COVID-19 vaccine in the island, has prompted the Government to consider reallocating funds budgeted for the public education and promotion programme on vaccines to other areas of health or to acquire more vaccines. “You will hear shortly of what that reallocation of those resources will do. We still however have to maintain some minimum amount of public education. When you think of the logistical efforts involved in deploying the vaccine, it would still require the Government to communicate with its citizens; time and place and availability, and explain to citizens what the vaccines will do. What side effects there could be; if any. So there still has to be some budget for that,” said Prime Minister Holness. He noted the concerns and fear of some citizens to take the vaccine once it is available. However, the Prime Minister said Government will make every effort to ensure citizens can ultimately feel safe. “We have to ensure that we plan enough to educate; we will reserve resources for public education to encourage persons to take…
Update on COVID-19 Measures under the Disaster Risk Management Act

Update on COVID-19 Measures under the Disaster Risk Management Act

February, 25 2021
The Cabinet has decided on the following measures: The islandwide nightly 8 pm to 5 am curfew is being extended for the period February 24 – March 1, 2021.  Accordingly, the curfew will commence at 8 pm on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 until 5 am the following morning, ending at 5 am Monday, March 1, 2021. The public gathering limit remains at 10 persons until February 28, 2021. In addition, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has advised schools to focus on students preparing for exit exams at Grades 6, 11, 12 and 13. Other students should not be on the campuses and should be engaged through other established learning modalities. A further review of various measures under the Order due to expire on February 28, 2021 will be undertaken and an announcement made regarding measures that will be in place effective March 1, 2021. In the meantime, Prime Minister Holness is reiterating that the virus is spread when persons move. Persons are being encouraged to stay within their homes as much as possible and minimize movement for necessary and productive activities such as going to work, obtaining food and medical supplies, accessing medical services, and conducting businesses and…
Tightening of COVID-19 Protocols is To Our Own Benefit – PM Holness

Tightening of COVID-19 Protocols is To Our Own Benefit – PM Holness

February, 15 2021
Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the tightening of some COVID-19 protocols at this time is critical to lessening the infection rate. The Prime Minister noted that there was much debate and reluctance in amending the curfew hours to an earlier time as well as decreasing the gathering limit from 15 to 10 persons. The islandwide curfew hours now run from 8:00PM to 5:00AM and expires on February 24. The Prime Minister said the Government recognizes the impact that the new measures pose to the economy, however keeping the infection rate low, is crucial to keeping the positivity rate down. “To reduce the spread, we are giving you instructions, guidance under the disaster risk management act for your own benefit; how you behave to reduce the risk and the spread,”  said Prime Minister Holness. In that regard, the Prime Minister noted that the extended curfew hours is temporary. He assured the nation that the Government takes every decision seriously. Prime Minister Holness also reiterated the importance of personal responsibility; wearing a mask in public, sanitizing of hands and maintaining social distance and maintaining the gathering limit of 10 persons. In the meantime, Prime Minister Holness sought to assuage fears about the…
Government Rapidly Expanding the Process and System of Home Ownership – PM Holness

Government Rapidly Expanding the Process and System of Home Ownership – PM Holness

February, 15 2021
Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the Government is working assiduously to expand the system and process of land and home ownership in Jamaica. Speaking recently (February 11) at the handing over ceremony of National Housing Trust (NHT) service lots in Hellshire,  St. Catherine, the Prime Minister said: “What the Government is doing, is expanding the process, the system of home ownership of land ownership and we are doing it in many ways. (We are) doing it in titling by going through and regularizing persons who have occupied lands but have no titles, we are doing it through the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ); regularizing communities that were informally settled. We are doing it again by the Housing Agency; in bringing to the market affordable and low income housing solutions and we are doing it by the NHT in providing support for the financial system for home ownership.” The Government has been working to provide housing solutions at affordable rates for every group of citizen. In that regard, the Prime Minister said the Government wants persons to own land through the legal process. As such efforts are being made to provide the means for individuals to do so. “On social equity,…