Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the islandwide curfew the Government has implemented as one of the measures to manage the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), will be extended until Wednesday (October 7).
“The islandwide curfew time will remain at 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.,” Mr. Holness advised, while addressing a digital press conference on Tuesday (September 22).
The Prime Minister noted that the time will be maintained given the concerns raised by the business community and the travelling public regarding a previously imposed 7:00 p.m. curfew.
“We wanted to tighten up the curfew, that is, to go to 7:00 [p.m.], but the concern about people rushing to get home in that one hour period between the close of business and people getting on to public transportation, that may defeat the purpose,” he said.
Mr. Holness said the Government acknowledges that the curfew is still having a negative impact on production, employment and the economy generally, arguing that the quicker the surge in the number of cases gets under control, “the quicker we are going to be able to restore our economy to close to full capacity in terms of its operation, and that really depends on how well people comply”.
“The curfews help us in controlling unnecessary movements or non-productive movements… . We move for productive purposes, we move for emergency and necessities, but if it is not productive, if it is not an emergency, if it’s not a necessity, we should not move, and if every Jamaican internalises that and limits movements, then we will limit the spread of the disease,” he added.
In the meantime, the Prime Minister noted that while persons have been following the curfew Orders for the most part, he at times gets information about breaches, such as quiet parties still being kept in communities, which he passes on to the relevant authorities.
“I have had discussions with the Commissioner of Police (Major General Antony Anderson) and we will now have to strictly enforce the curfew Orders,” he said.
Mr. Holness reminded that the quarantine measures will remain in place for persons coming into Jamaica.
“We urge every single person coming into Jamaica to respect the quarantine Orders that you are issued, because that is another important mechanism for controlling movement,” he said.