WHAT A RELIEF! Public beaches and rivers to be reopened on Sunday
All public beaches and rivers will be reopened to the general public effective this Sunday, June 7, for an initial 14 days.
Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie made the announcement Friday evening during a digital COVID-19 press conference from Jamaica House.
With summer fast approaching and with the temperature rising, Jamaicans have been itching to cool off. However, beaches, rivers and waterways were ordered closed in March as the Government moved to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the island.
“As of Sunday, beaches that are licensed under the Beach Control Act or otherwise, will open from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm daily for swimming and exercise (jogging),” McKenzie said.
Operating hours for rivers will be from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm daily and McKenzie said social distancing protocols at beaches and rivers must be observed. The authorities are also encouraging family-oriented typesetting for beaches.
“We would like to see families and groups consisting of two persons gathering within a certain distance as prescribed in the Order. No more than 10 persons at any time shall gather in any one area of the beach,” said McKenzie.
Operators will not be permitted to provide any form of seating however, persons visiting the beach will be allowed to take their own, personal chairs.
There is no provision in the Order for any social activities such as beach parties. And there will be no sporting activities such as football, volleyball and dominoes. Also, there will be no seating for dining and vendors will not be permitted to walk the beach with items for sale. McKenzie said the authorities will be monitoring the establishments to ensure that the protocols are being observed.
Regarding rivers, McKenzie warned that no parties will be allowed.
“It is strictly for the purpose of domestic use,” he warned. Such use includes fishing, bathing, washing and the catching of water. Water attractions will remain closed.