PM announces tighter COVID containment measures

February 28, 2021
Prime Minister Andrew Holness (file photo)

In a press briefing today, Prime Minister Andrew Holness shared that the health system of the country is now at a critical limit.

Holness says it is with this in mind that the Government now has to shift policy efforts to preserve life.

Over the past couple of weeks, health officials have been raising alarm about the increase in COVID cases in Westmoreland.

New COVID measures:

1. Curfew - 8 p.m to 5 a.m daily
(Effective Monday March 1 to March 23)

2. Work from Home: Starting March 4, 2021, there must be a work from home arrangement in the public sectors

3.  Zoos, parks, gyms, attractions and bars will close 6 p.m, until March 22.

4.  Private Sector is encouraged to facilitate their staff working from home

5. Public gathering: Limited to 10 people

6. No in-person social events are permitted for the public sector.

7. All persons entering Jamaica must present a negative COVID-19 test conducted within 72-hours prior their date of travel. 

8. Effective March 8 to March 22, funeral and burials will be prohibited.

9. Effective March 1 to March 22, churches will be mandated to only engage in online services only. Ten persons are permitted to be in church to conduct the service.

10. Only 25 persons will be permitted at weddings 

11. Public beaches and rivers will remain closed until March 22, 2021.

With COVID vaccines due to arrive in the country in the upcoming days, Holness says the most vulnerable will be prioritised in the administration.

He warned that no minister or public official must interfere with the vaccine schedule, adding that there will be "serious action" if his instruction is disobeyed.

"I want to assure the country that the reality is that there is a global shortage and the developed countries and those producing vaccines are focused on vaccinating their populations first. This is just the harsh reality of the world. Jamaica is participating in two multilateral programmes, which should give us access to vaccines within the next eight weeks – the COVAX initiative and the Africa Medical Supplies Platform," Holness said.

Holness added: "There will be no political interference in distribution once the priority is decided."

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