Although the Ministry of Health and Wellness is bracing for a spike in COVID-19 cases come January, Dr Christopher Tufton is urging Jamaicans to desist from attending illegal parties during the festive season.
The country has recorded more than 10,000 coronavirus cases, and the authorities expect to see a sizeable increase during the holidays. But Tufton, the Health and Wellness Minister, wants everyone to play their part by not attending large gatherings that are now banned.
“What we want to avoid is to have a Christmas that is so merry, that we have a New Year that is dire because of outbreaks and hospitalisations. We want to find ways to give thanks for the year, enjoy family and very close friends, and at the same time, observe the protocols; that is very important,” Tufton said recently.
Gatherings of more than 15 people are now banned, and people who breach the Disaster Risk Management Act can be fined up to $1 million or spend six months in prison.
Meanwhile, Tufton also said that the government plans to implement new COVID-19 measures by the end of the year. This means that Jamaicans could face stiffer penalties for breaching the protocols that are aimed at containing the spread of the virus.