CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: PM to announce protocol on closing schools tomorrow

PM Andrew Holnesss

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says that the government, through Cabinet, has approved the protocols for the closure of schools across the island, as Jamaica confirmed its second imported case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

However, Holness—who was speaking at an emergency press conference at Jamaica House on Wednesday (March 11)—noted that an announcement on the closure of schools will be made in the next 24-hours.

He said key consultations would be needed with stakeholders from the Ministry of Education before that announcement is made.

“It is something that is of great concern to us now. Cabinet has approved protocols for the closure of schools; however, those protocols need further consultation with teachers and regional and central staff at the Ministry [of Education],” Holness said.

Additionally, Holness said that the government welcomed decisions by several tertiary-level institutions to suspend classes. The Northern Caribbean University (NCU) has resorted to online-classes and banned hugging.

“There are some institutions that have already decided to close at the university level, we endorse and support those actions,” the PM noted.