Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has announced seven no movement days in a bid to curb the latest surge in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Jamaica.
Those days are Sunday, August 22; Monday, August 23; Tuesday, August 24; Sunday, August 29; Monday, August 30; Tuesday, August 31; and Sunday, September 5.
Tightening of the curfews, which form part of the Government’s infection prevention and control measures, are also aimed at reducing hospitalisations and deaths.
The new measures come as the virus’ more transmissible Delta variant was confirmed to be present in Jamaica.
Prime Minister Holness made the announcement during a virtual press conference on Thursday (August 19).
He advised that the existing curfew hours will be adjusted on Friday (August 20) and Saturday (August 21) to allow persons adequate time to procure essential items ahead of the first lockdown period.
The curfew will begin at 9:00 p.m. on Friday and end at five o’clock on Saturday morning.
It will commence at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday and continue throughout Sunday, August 22, Monday, August 23, and Tuesday, August 24, ending at 5:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 25.
Mr. Holness advised, however, that the curfews would revert to the hours of 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. on the weekdays and 6:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. on the Saturdays following the no movement days.
The Prime Minister said as part of efforts to also allow persons to prepare for the three-day lockdowns, workplaces and businesses will be asked to close at midday on Friday, August 20 and Friday, August 27.
Mr. Holness informed that workplaces or businesses not required to close at midday on those days are the courts; establishments providing security, finance, transportation, and health services; the National Water Commission; Jamaica Public Service Company; gas stations; public works and sanitation entities; fire stations; supermarkets, wholesales, and stores; and restaurants and corner shops, among others.
Meanwhile, he said the vaccination programme will continue as certain sites will remain open during curfew hours and on no movement days.
The Prime Minister advised that persons with vaccination appointments will be allowed to fulfil these.
Mr. Holness said the police have been given clear instructions to enforce the restriction on movement during the designated periods.
He emphasised that instituting restrictions to prevent or slow further transmission of the virus “works if everyone cooperates”.
“I am [therefore] appealing for everyone to make these no movement days a success. If you don’t have to move during this period… stay home,” Mr. Holness urged.