Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced extensions to some COVID-19 measures under the Disaster Risk Management Act until the end of October.
The measures have been adjusted to help to control the spike in positive cases and flatten the curve.
Speaking yesterday (October 6) in Parliament at the Jamaica Conference Centre, the Prime Minister noted that more adjustments are being made to address community transmission. In that regard, he encouraged citizens to be cautious.
“Given that we are now in the community transmission phase, we have to assume that everyone we come into contact with is carrying the virus. This means that each citizen must take responsibility for their protection by following the protocols that we constantly repeat, wearing your masks, maintaining social distance, sanitizing your hands, and staying at home,” said Prime Minister Holness.
The new measures are as follows;
- The island-wide curfew time will remain at 8:00 pm to 5:00 am day to day until 5:00 am on October 18, 2020.
- The curfew hours during the Heroes Day weekend will be from 3:00 pm on Sunday, October 18, 2020, ending 8:00 am, October 19, 2020.
- The curfew will resume Monday, October 19, 2020, at 3:00 pm and will end at 5:00 am on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.
- Thereafter, the curfew will move to 9:00 pm to 5:00 am the following day, each day ending 5:00 am Sunday, November 1, 2020.
- The Government has lowered the age limit for the stay at home measures from 70 years and older to 65 years and older.
The measures that remain the same are as follows;
- The limit for public gatherings remains at 15 persons.
- Public passenger motor cars will be limited to one person less than the number of persons allowed.
- Drivers of public passenger vehicles will be given one hour before and after the curfew to leave their home and get to the destination of their first passenger and after dropping off their last passenger to go home.
- The ban on funerals, parties, and other events will continue, burials will continue to be allowed with strict observation and enforcement of the 15-person rule.
- Churches will continue to operate under the same protocols.
The following employees may request their employers’ permission to work from home;
- Employees who are immunocompromised with underlying illnesses that are not under control and cannot be in an environment where many persons are gathered, and this is certified by a doctor.
- Employees who have no suitable arrangements available to care for a child; for an elderly or ill family member, or a “person with a disability”.
- Employers who permit employees to work from home must do so without imposing any adverse consequences to the employee.
The measures will remain in effect until October 31, 2020.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Holness said, the Government might reduce the time allotted for the island-wide curfew, if the curve is flattened.
“I want the Jamaican people to understand that until a safe and effective vaccine is developed and widely available, the only sustainable way for us to protect both our lives and livelihoods is to learn to go about our normal productive everyday activities but to do so in a safe and responsible manner. The more people comply with the measures the faster we will control the spread and be able to loosen the restrictions and get our economy to full productive capacity,” said Prime Minister Holness.
In the meantime, a ticketing system will be implemented for COVID-19 breaches under the Disaster Risk Management Act.