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 distribution of covid-19 vaccines set to begin in a few weeks.
Prime Minister Holness said Jamaicans have nothing to fear about the vaccines as the country has had a long history of selecting vaccines which goes through several processes before distribution.
“The Government of Jamaica is doing everything possible to ensure that we have access to vaccines, but that, whatever vaccines we decide to use here, that they are safe. Jamaica has had a long and successful history in deploying vaccines,” said Prime Minister Holness.
All vaccines are to be administered under the supervision of healthcare professionals.
Jamaica is scheduled to receive the first set of AstraZeneca vaccines, by mid to late February.