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 women and persons with disability will be permitted to conduct the essentials of life between 8:00 am and 10:00 am on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
- The police and military are to allow the elderly to be accompanied by persons where needed.
- Persons with surnames beginning with A to M will be permitted to pursue the essentials of life between 10:00 am and 1:30 pm.
- Persons with surnames beginning with N to Z will be permitted to pursue the essentials of life between 1:30 pm and 5:00 pm.
- All persons must wear a mask covering their nose and mouth while in public places.
- Businesses that are permitted to remain open will have a duty to put in place social distancing measures as persons use their services.
- Markets in the parish of St. Catherine will be closed and almost all commercial activities will come to a halt with the exception of corner shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, hospitals, medical health centres, and gas stations.
In the meantime, the Commissioner of Police and Health Department have been charged with thoroughly investigating the St. Catherine outbreak and pursue charges if necessary.
The Prime Minister also underscored that all entry and exit points into and out of the parish of St. Catherine will become checkpoints. Essential workers passing through these points will have to submit to temperature checks.
The list of persons exempted will be published.
The general curfew hours of 9:00 pm to 5:00 am remain in effect.