Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, is reminding the public that all nightclubs are to remain closed, as the ban on such establishments has not been lifted.
“Nightclubs are not open, there is no order for nightclubs to operate and I just want to make that clear. The ban on the operation of nightclubs is still in place,” he said on Thursday (July 16), at the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ weekly virtual COVID Conversations press briefing.
The ban on entertainment activities, including nightclubs, was implemented in March as part of measures to contain and reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Government has since announced a two-week conditional reopening of amusement parks, water attractions and small outdoor events such as concerts, parties, round robins, launches, religious celebrations (such as baptisms and tent meetings) and festivals, starting Tuesday, July 21.
Following the two-week period, ending July 31, an assessment will be done to inform further action.
All events that will be held must obtain an amusement licence or permit from the respective municipal corporation and no more than 280 people can gather for an event. This means a maximum of 250 patrons and no more than 30 additional production personnel, including performers and staff.
There must also be signs, such as tape on the floors or other markings, to ensure that the people attending observe the necessary protocols. All facilities that are to be used under this conditional reopening will be subject to inspections by personnel from the Ministries of Local Government and Community Development; Health and Wellness; Tourism; and Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport; the municipal corporations; and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
Additionally, there will be a sensitisation and monitoring team, comprising the Social Development Commission (SDC), Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Health and Wellness, to ensure compliance.
The Noise Abatement Act, which applies to these events, will be enforced, and functions must come to an end by 10:00 p.m., which is one hour before the start of the nightly curfew.
Pertaining to amusement parks and water attractions, which will be allowed to operate between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m, the facilities must have the requisite approvals of the local authorities and the necessary safety requirements by the Jamaica Fire Brigade.
Also, the protocols dictate that railings, barriers, safety harnesses, life jackets and play equipment must be sanitised frequently; rides and play equipment must be sanitised after each user, or after users from different families or groups; and physical barriers and visual signs must be erected to ensure distancing between people from different families or groups, both in and out of the water.
Further, attractions must not provide items such as towels, goggles and snorkels. However, patrons are allowed to bring their own. These items must not be shared between people from different families or groups.
Attractions that provide rides must ensure that there is at least one seat space between members from different families or groups. Rides that do not allow for seat spacing or for riders to wear masks must remain closed.