Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has announced an adjustment in the curfew hours, as well as other coronavirus (COVID-19) containment measures, as the country sees a spike in cases of the virus.
Effective Tuesday (July 27), the new curfew hours will be from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. on weekdays.
On Sundays and the upcoming public holidays – Emancipation Day, which will be observed on Monday, August 2 and Independence Day on Friday, August 6 – the curfew time will be 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
The Prime Minister said that the tightening of the curfew hours is to limit movement.
He noted that previously announced COVID-19 measures were to have remained in place until Tuesday (August 10), “but based on the rapid increase in all our key indicators it is clear that we need to act now”.
“I know there are some issues raised regarding worship time, and so forth, but we ask for the understanding of the public as we go through… another challenging time,” he said while addressing a digital press conference on Monday (July 26).
Turning to other measures, Mr. Holness informed that tighter operating hours have also been put in place for beaches and rivers.
These establishments will open from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Mondays to Saturdays; and 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Sundays and public holidays.
In addition, the capacity limit has been reduced from 70 per cent to 50 per cent for entities such as places of worship, gyms, bars that operate under a club licence and dining establishments.
“The capacity limit for small events will also be reduced from 60 per cent to 50 per cent. Therefore, the number of persons permitted at a small event will still be 100 persons or 50 per cent of the venue capacity, whichever is lower,” Mr. Holness said.
The Prime Minister pointed out that while the Government has not mandated closing hours for businesses “we would expect that establishments will generally close one hour before [the] curfew to allow employees and patrons to be able to get public transportation or otherwise go home”.
The adjusted measures will remain in place until August 10.
Mr. Holness said that the country’s COVID situation will be closely monitored over the course of the next two weeks, to determine the measures that will apply, effective August 11.
“Our focus in crafting those measures will be on trying to control spreads sufficiently to allow us to reopen schools to facilitate structured face-to-face learning in September. That is an imperative for the Government and, indeed, for all the parents and children who have had a really very difficult time during this pandemic,” he said.
WRITTEN BY: ALECIA SMITH
Source: JIS news