Tighter curfew hours for Heroes Day weekend
An empty Half-Way Tree Square in St Andrew during curfew hours. (Photo: File)
The island-wide curfew hours of 8 pm to 5 am daily is to be adjusted for the National Heroes Day weekend in an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19 on the island.
For the holiday period, the curfew is to begin at 3 pm on Sunday, October 18, and will remain in force until 8 am on Tuesday, October 20. Thereafter, the national curfew hours is to be extended to run from 9pm until 5am daily.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the announcement on Tuesday as he addressed the House of Representatives on the government’s continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic which has infected 7,109 Jamaicans, killing 123 as of Tuesday. Some 2,674 persons have recovered, while there are 4,216 active cases.
The common consensus is that the surge in Jamaica’s COVID-19 cases began during the first week of August when the country observed the 'Emancipendence' holidays.
Unlike during the Easter and Labour Day holidays when restrictive curfew hours were implemented, that did not happen for the Emancipation Day and Independence Day holidays which were observed on August 1 and 6, respectively.
The prime minister said both business operators — especially those in the restaurant sector who have taken a massive hit — and individuals are expected to welcome the additional hour to do business as of October 20.
However, he urged Jamaicans to continue to observe the health protocols that have been put in place to limit the spread of the virus, as what happens going forward will determine whether tighter restrictions will be necessary during the Christmas period.
Meanwhile, gatherings will continue to be limited to a maximum of 15 persons until October 31, so too the restrictions around funerals and burials.
Also, operators of public passenger vehicles are required to continue to carry one passenger less than their road licences allow, and masks should be worn by all persons in public places.
Persons 65 and older who are among the most vulnerable to contracting COVID-19, are required to stay at home except to carry out certain activities like shopping and supervising their business.
Companies are again encouraged to allow their employees who can work from home to continue to do so.