Jamaica announces new COVID measures amid spike in cases

Prime Minister of Jamaica Andrew Holness at the Jamaica House press briefing on June 29. (Photo: JIS)

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise islandwide, Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced a raft of new containment measures for the next three weeks.
These include:

  1. The island-wide curfew remains at 8:00 pm to 5:00 am daily until March 22.
  2. Zoos, parks, gyms, attractions and bars will close at 6:00 pm.
  3. Only students who will sit exit examinations should receive face-to-face instruction. This includes private schools.
  4. Starting March 4, there must be a work from home arrangement in the public sector. Only employees who work in critical service delivery should be in the physical office locations.
  5. The private sector is encouraged to arrange their affairs in such a way as to facilitate their staff working from home.
  6. Where a member of staff has comorbidities, or has to take care of someone who is ill or otherwise challenged, that person should be allowed to work from home. This applies to both the public and private sector.
  7. The public gathering limit will remain at 10 people.
  8. In the public sector, no social events or ceremonies, unless virtual, are allowed to take place.
  9. As obtains for visitors, Jamaicans coming home from abroad will be required to present a negative COVID test, conducted within 72 hours prior to their travel date, at the check-in to their flights. Business travellers, who were previously facilitated by the Government, will now be required to pay for their own PCR tests.
  10. Flights coming directly from the United Kingdom continue to be restricted.
  11. Effective March 8, funerals and burials will be prohibited. No burial orders will be issued. Funerals that were already scheduled up to March 7 may go ahead, under the current protocols.
  12. Churches are directed to engage in online services only. Ten members are permitted within the church space to manage the online programme. 
  13. Weddings are allowed, except that the cap has now been halved to 25 people, including the bride, groom, pastor and the two witnesses.
  14. Public beaches are to be closed.