With less than 24 hours before Nomination Day, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the political parties have committed to ensuring that supporters follow the coronavirus (COVID-19) protocols to prevent and minimise the spread of the virus.
Particular care will be taken in St. Thomas and Clarendon, where communities are under quarantine due to a rise in positive cases.
“We have agreed that as leaders of the country, we will be scrupulous in following the rules, that we will be consistent and firm in ensuring that… how we organise the activities for the day is consistent with the agreement and measures recommended by the Ministry of Health, which both parties would have agreed to and was published by the political ombudsmen,” the Prime Minister said.
“It means that the political parties must exercise great care and caution and their supporters must understand that we cannot conduct the campaign in the normal way. This is a COVID-19 campaign and the protocols must and will be strictly followed,” he stressed.
The Prime Minister was speaking on Monday (August 17) at a digital press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister Media Centre in Kingston.
A community quarantine has been in effect in Church Corner and Sandy Bay in St. Thomas and Clarendon, respectively, since August 6. The quarantine period in the areas has been extended for a further 14 days and is now scheduled to end on September 2.
In addition, effective Tuesday (August 18), St. Thomas will be under curfew for 14 days, between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. daily.
In the meantime, Director of Elections, Glasspole Brown, said that in keeping with the physical distancing protocol, only a limited number of persons will be allowed inside the nomination centres.
All persons entering the nomination compound, including candidates, their supporters, Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) officials and the media, must wear a mask.
“I urge all persons involved in the nomination process to remember to wear a mask to the nomination location. The temperature of all persons entering the location will be checked and their hands will be sanitised. The security forces will be assisting us with managing the number of persons entering the compound as we seek to adhere to the COVID-19 health and safety protocols,” Mr. Brown said.