News from the OPM

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
Former Government Minister Dr. Neville Gallimore Has Died
Disembarkation Process Complete for Repatriated Jamaican RCCL Ship Workers
High-Level UN Event Will Tackle Critical Finance Issues to Address Economic Devastation Caused by COVID-19
Islandwide Nightly Curfew Restrictions for Labour Day Period
PM Holness Extends Opening Hours for Restocking in St. Catherine and BPOs Ordered Closed

PM Holness Extends Opening Hours for Restocking in St. Catherine and BPOs Ordered Closed

April, 16 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced that all Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) operators in St. Catherine have been closed effective yesterday, April 15, 2020. Prime Minister Holness explained in Parliament yesterday (April 15) that the closure is to facilitate an investigation into the management structure to identify the cause for the rapid COVID-19 spread. “The closure is necessary for us to access and determine whether or not there was a systemic breakdown in the management, supervision, and practices in BPO operations in the parish and to contain the spread of the virus within the sector as we know that staff is circulated to branches,” said Prime Minister Holness. According to Prime Minister Holness, all employees at the affected call centre have been placed under quarantine for 14 days. The Prime Minister also advised other BPOs in operation across the island that it is in their best interest not to accept any employee from the St. Catherine BPO in question until the quarantine period has ended as it would put them in violation of the quarantine act. Moreover, Prime Minister Holness announced an extension of the time for restocking to limit crowding in public places on Wednesday, April 15 and Saturday,…
St. Catherine has been Placed Under Lockdown for Seven Days

St. Catherine has been Placed Under Lockdown for Seven Days

April, 15 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced that the parish of St. Catherine has been placed under lockdown for seven days from 5 am Wednesday, April 15 to 5 am Wednesday, April 22, 2020, to slow the spread of COVID-19. The announcement comes on the heels of Jamaica reaching 105 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with a recent 33 coming from St. Catherine. The health officials have traced the recent jump in cases to a call centre operating in Portmore. The objective of the lockdown is to slow as much as possible the spread of the virus,” said Prime Minister Holness During the lockdown, one person from each household will be allowed to conduct the essentials of life on Wednesday, April 15 and Saturday April 18, 2020. In addition; If a person is ill with respiratory illnesses or flu-like symptoms, they are required to stay home and isolate themselves from others in their household. All persons in St. Catherine out in public places must have an ID with a visible photograph. Acceptable IDs include; voters ID, passport, driver’s license, ID from a Ministry or Agency, University ID, and School ID. Medical Emergencies will be facilitated as they arise. Persons 65 years and older, pregnant…
PM Holness Donates $3000US to Jamaica Telethon

PM Holness Donates $3000US to Jamaica Telethon

April, 13 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has donated US$3000, from his Foundation, Positive Jamaica, to the Jamaica Telethon. The fundraising effort is aimed at raising $10 Million USD to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the country’s health care workers on the frontline battling the COVID19 pandemic in Jamaica. During an interview with Jamaica Telethon yesterday, Easter Sunday (April 12), Prime Minister Holness said the Government is being very strategic to put in place end to end protocols to ensure that when the borders are reopened, there is no community spread of COVID19. He encouraged Jamaicans in the diaspora overseas to be patient. “The Government is working overtime to ensure that we can bring you back home. It’s a very difficult thing because the transmission of the virus here in Jamaica has largely been traced to persons coming in. So, we are being very careful [and] very strategic, I know it is very difficult but I ask you to be patient. We will put in place end to end protocols to ensure that when you come into Jamaica there is no community spread,” said Prime Minister Holness. According to Prime Minister Holness, while most Jamaicans are adjusting to the new normal, the…
Government To Extend Islandwide Nightly Curfew

Government To Extend Islandwide Nightly Curfew

April, 07 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced that the Government will extend the current islandwide nightly curfew. Other measures to address the COVID19 pandemic including work from home, closure of the island’s borders and others will also be extended in accordance with the relevant Orders. The Prime Minister will give details on the measures during an update to the nation tomorrow.
PM Holness Announces Nightly Islandwide Curfews for 7 Days

PM Holness Announces Nightly Islandwide Curfews for 7 Days

March, 31 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced nightly islandwide curfews for a period of seven (7) days with effect from 8:00pm on April 1, 2020 to 6:00am on April 8, 2020. This is the latest in a series of measures announced by the Government to contain the novel coronavirus, COVID19, in Jamaica. The imposition of the curfew means, there will be restrictions on all movement of persons except for those in the medical services (doctors, nurses), persons in the Business Processing Outsourcing industry and other personnel who fall under the essential services, beyond the hours stipulated. Exempted persons will be required to produce valid identification. There will also be restrictions on public transportation. The Prime Minister made the announcement last night (Monday, March 30) during a virtual press conference at Jamaica House. Further to the announced amendment under the Disaster Risk Management Act, Prime Minister Holness informed that persons who arrived on the island between March 18-23, are now mandated to report to the Ministry of Health and Wellness via the website; http://jamcovid19.moh.gov.jm or by contacting 888-ONE-LOVE (663-5683) and to “faithfully disclose all information that is required” including their health status and whether they have been observing the guidelines for self-quarantine. Importantly, the Prime Minister…
Prime Minister Holness Announces Stimulus Measures to the Housing Sector and Benefits to NHT Contributors

Prime Minister Holness Announces Stimulus Measures to the Housing Sector and Benefits to NHT Contributors

March, 20 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced a raft of measures aimed at stimulating the housing sector in the wake of the global pandemic COVID19 which is also affecting Jamaica. The announcements came yesterday (March 19) as the Prime Minister made his contribution to the 2020/2021 Budget Debate in Parliament. As part of the measures, Prime Minister Holness outlined specific measures that would be applied to National Housing Trust (NHT) contributors and borrowers to provide greater access to housing. Specifically, in its response to the impact of COVID-19, the NHT will implement measures to ensure the social protection of its mortgagors and contributors. Prime Minister Andrew Holness noted that: “These measures are to safeguard persons from losing their homes while improving their disposable income. The Government through the NHT put in place special relief for mortgagors who may lose their jobs as a result of COVID-19. Effective immediately, mortgagors who are laid off can apply for a moratorium on all loan payments of three months  in the first instance.” The Prime Minister said effective immediately, the NHT will provide a special one-off offer to contributors, the option to reschedule delinquent loans. The option will only be made available where the Trust…
Corn Piece Community in Clarendon Under Quarantine; PM Holness Appeal to Residents to Follows Measures

Corn Piece Community in Clarendon Under Quarantine; PM Holness Appeal to Residents to Follows Measures

March, 20 2020
Prime Minister Holness has announced that the Corn Piece community in the parish of Clarendon is now under quarantine for 14 days. The community was quarantined following the first reported death as a result of COVID-19 – a man who is believed to have travelled to Jamaica from New York on a JetBlue flight 2959 on March 12. The announcement was made last night (March 19) in Parliament following the Prime Minister’s 2020/2021 Budget presentation. It is believed that the deceased stayed in the community of Corn Piece during the period of his visit while ill and had contact with several persons within the community. According to Prime Minister Holness, the quarantine is to facilitate investigations that could lead to early detection of symptoms and prevention of transmission of the deadly COVID-19. “It is critical that they are monitored closely within the next fourteen (14) days. Early detection of symptoms will allow for early isolation and prevention of transmission of the virus. At this time, we are unsure of the number of persons in the community that have been so exposed, and require that the community and the family comply with the quarantine order to conduct the necessary contact tracing…
Restricted Attendance and Participation for PM Holness’ Budget Presentation

Restricted Attendance and Participation for PM Holness’ Budget Presentation

March, 17 2020
As the Government continues its proactive efforts to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19 in Jamaica, keen consideration has been given to public events that should be curtailed or restricted.  Leading by example, the decision has been taken to limit participation at the Budget Presentation by the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, ON, MP, Prime Minister, which is scheduled for Thursday 19th March 2020 at 2:00 PM, at Gordon House. Accordingly, it has been decided that attendance at the Debate should be restricted to Members of the House of Representatives and essential personnel.  The Office of the Prime Minister therefore rescinds the invitation extended to all other officials, civil society leaders and members of the community in general. The Office of the Prime Minister expresses its regret that attendance at this presentation cannot be accommodated at this time, however it will be aired live and may be accessed via the following platforms: PBCJ TV Facebook:  Andrew Holness Facebook:  PBCJ Facebook: JIS Twitter: Andrew Holness We encourage you to continue to observe all precautionary measures and the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Wellness to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all.
Cabinet Approves a Raft of Measures including Work from Home for Non Essential Tasks

Cabinet Approves a Raft of Measures including Work from Home for Non Essential Tasks

March, 17 2020
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has moved decisively to act to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 in Jamaica. The move follows a meeting of Cabinet yesterday (March 16) which approved measures for the action. Updating the nation at a media briefing following the meeting of Cabinet, Prime Minister Holness announced that effective Wednesday, March 18 all non-essential work in both the public and private sectors should be done from home or remotely. “The Government will institute a new policy, required from seven days hence this time, that all non-essential work be done from home. So, we are going to be asking the Permanent Secretaries to examine all functions with their respective ministries departments and agencies, and where [tasks] are considered to be non-essential, that those be carried on at home or remotely. We are now formally requiring the private sector to do this,” said Prime Minister Holness. According to Prime Minister Holness, markets, supermarkets, corner shops, gas stations and pharmacies will remain open as they are considered essential for the continuation of life. However, he stressed that social distancing must be practiced. The opening hours for markets will be adjusted to 6am to 2pm daily. Prime Minister Holness implored market vendors…