Recrafted Covid-19 Containment Measures
The stakes are high, and this is a risk we are all taking together as a country
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced modified measures under the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA) to take effect June 24 and July 1, 2021.
The Prime Minister made the announcements yesterday, (June 22, 2021) in Parliament.
The recrafted measures which are to take effect tomorrow, June 24, 2021, are as follows:
- Places of Worship: the maximum number of persons physically present will be determined as 70% of the capacity which is calculated based on one person for every 40 sq ft of the designated worship area.
- Indoor theatres and cinemas will be allowed to open with the same size-based capacity limitation – One person for every 40 square feet or 70% of seated capacity, whichever is lower.
- Drive-in cinemas: the maximum number of persons in any vehicle should not exceed the number permitted to be in the vehicle under the registration. For vehicles that are registered to carry more than 7 persons, the maximum allowed will be 8 persons. A vehicle designed to accommodate no more than 15 persons shall be the largest permitted.
The broader measures to take effect on July 1, 2021, are:
- The curfew hours for weekdays and Saturday will be 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following morning ending at 5 a.m. August 10, 2021.
- For Sunday, the curfew will begin at 6 p.m. and end at 5 a.m. the following morning.
Controlled Entry Protocols:
- •As of July 1, 2021, fully vaccinated persons now have the option of taking an approved PCR test and upon presenting a negative result, they can be released from the Quarantine Order. The test will be done at the individual’s own cost.
- •The quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated persons will remain at eight (8) days.
- •For persons who are not fully vaccinated, the quarantine period remains at 14 days.
- •The travel ban for South American countries (Brazil, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, and Paraguay) as well as for India and Trinidad & Tobago is also being extended until June 30, 2021.
- The age limit for the stay-at-home measure remains at 60. However, persons who are fully vaccinated will be exempt from this; they are encouraged to carry evidence of their vaccinations with them.
- •The existing work from home directive in the public sector has been extended until August 10, 2021. For the private sector, employers should allow all persons who can work from home to do so.
- •Effective July 1, 2021, funeral services will be allowed with a maximum of 30 persons present inside the church, other place of worship or funeral home. This maximum limit of 30 persons includes mourners as well as clergy and any support personnel.
- •For burials, the maximum number of persons who may be present at the graveside has been increased from 15 to 30.
- •For public sector events, such as handing overs, or groundbreakings, a maximum of 50 persons must be maintained.
- •For markets and vending in public arcades and public transportation centres, operating hours will be from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays. Markets remain closed on Sundays.
- •Public transportation operators will still be allowed to be on the road one hour before and one hour after curfew but there can be no passengers in the vehicles during those periods.
- •Motor vehicles that provide public transportation are to have one less passenger than is allowed by their license.
- •Effective July 1, 2021, burials can be done during the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The maximum number of persons who may be present at the graveside has been increased from 15 to 30. This includes mourners as well as officiating clergy, grave diggers and undertakers. As a reminder, burials will be allowed Mondays to Fridays.
- •For markets and vending in public arcades and public transportation centres, operating hours will continue to be from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays.
- •Amusement Arcades which cater for young persons are allowed to re-open under protocols to ensure safety of the patrons.
- •Beaches, rivers, zoos, water parks and attractions will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday to Saturday and from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday given the change in curfew hours.
- •Parks, gyms and bars are subject to the existing restrictions and protocols and must close at least one hour before the start of curfew.
In the meantime, the Government has contemplated two categories of events for entertainment: large and small.
Effective July 1, 2021, small events may resume with a maximum of 100 attendees including organizers and support personnel. These small events are categorized as either indoor or outdoor; each having gathering limits.
The Prime Minister says for indoor events, a cap on the number of persons who can attend a small event is determined as 60 percent of useable square footage.
The current measures which began on June 3, 2021, and which expire on June 30, 2021, are a recrafting of the measures.
The Prime Minister says, “The stakes are high, and this is a risk we are all taking together as a country.” He cautioned that the success of the new measures is up to every Jamaican.