Jamaica announces 3 weekend lockdowns to curb virus spread

Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness has announced a series of lockdown measures to help curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness

The measures include three weekends of lockdown beginning this weekend.

  1. From Tuesday, March 23 to Friday, March 26, the nightly curfew hours will remain at 8:00 pm to 5:00 am, ending at 5:00 am on Saturday, March 27.
  2. On Saturday, March 27, the curfew begins at 12:00 noon, to end at 5:00 am on Monday, March 29. There should be no movement on Sunday, March 28.
  3. On Friday, March 26, workplaces will be required to close at noon, except for essential services like medical establishments, supermarkets, wholesale stores, pharmacies, restaurants and other food establishments, which will remain open up to the regular curfew time at 8:00 pm.
  4. From Monday, March 29 to Wednesday, March 31, the curfew returns to 8:00 pm to 5:00 am. On Thursday, April 1, Holy Thursday, workplaces will be required to close at noon, except for essential services. There should be no movement on Good Friday. On Saturday, April 3, the curfew begins at noon, and continues Easter Sunday and Monday, to end at 5:00 am on April 6.
  5. On Tuesday, April 6, the curfew will commence at 8:00 pm nightly to 5:00 am the following morning ending at 5:00 am on Saturday, April 10.
  6. On Saturday, April 10, the curfew will begin at 12:00 noon and continue through the entire day on Sunday and end at 5:00 am on Monday, April 12. On Friday, April 9, workplaces will be required to close at 12:00 noon to facilitate people to conduct their shopping to prepare for the tighter weekend curfew.
  7. On no movement days, people will be allowed to seek urgent medical care and those who have overseas travel plans can make their way to or from the airport. Essential services will still be operational.

Holness said, “It is clear that the level of compliance is not going to be achieved by the virtue of moral suasion of appealing to the public.”

He continued, “The Government has to act in the public’s interest; but the individual interest, and the sum of the individual interest, should not be confused with the public interest.”

“We are now at a breaking point…we have reached a breaking point.”

Holness also mentioned that there are still citizens attending parties and other prohibited social gatherings, which he described as “the ultimate expression of social selfishness.”

“So we will have to institute new measures…,” he said.

Jamaica has recorded 35,338 coronavirus cases and 533 deaths as of Saturday, March 20.