Monday 13 July, 2020

COVID-19: Exemptions being considered for businesses to hold AGMs

Prime Minister Andrew Holness  provides an update on Jamaica's response to the coronavirus pandemic via a digital conference on Sunday, May 31. Photo via Jamaica Information Service.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness provides an update on Jamaica's response to the coronavirus pandemic via a digital conference on Sunday, May 31. Photo via Jamaica Information Service.

Although they will still be expected to continue to observe social distancing of at least six feet apart and gatherings of no more than 10 persons at any one time, exemptions will be made for workplaces as thousands of workers are expected back in their offices today, Monday, June 1.

The exemptions will allow for workplaces to facilitate the increase in the number of employees who will be returning to work “and for companies holding their annual general meetings (AGMs),” said Prime Minister Andrew Holness during a COVID-19 press briefing on Sunday.

“Considering the challenges that companies are having now in terms of having their AGMs which they are required to do by law, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries is currently reviewing the legislative framework to address this situation expeditiously,” Holness said.

The prime minister noted that while there have been requests for the Government to increase the number of persons allowed to congregate together “we have to be very careful as …it is important in limiting spread (of COVID-19) to control gatherings”.

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Meanwhile, as Jamaicans return to work with the lifting of the stay-at-home orders through June 30, persons deemed to be most susceptible to contracting the coronavirus are expected to continue to exercise caution. This group of persons includes those 65 years and older and those with underlying health conditions.

Holness said such persons will still be allowed to leave home once per day for the necessities of life. These include obtaining food, medical supplies and services, conducting financial transactions and oversight of their business affairs, attending a place of worship and for exercise.

“The essence of observation of this order is to limit your exposure to the general population among which asymptomatic spread is occurring, public spaces and public transportation as much as possible,” said Holness.

He reminded that the stay-at-home orders also apply to persons who may be ill and showing signs of the coronavirus type illness but which is not confirmed by testing or assessed by a clinical expert.  

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