Jamaica will implement a stricter island-wide curfew today following a surge in coronavirus cases.
The measure – which sees curfew move from 10:00 pm-5:00 am to 8:00 pm-5:00 am – was announced by Prime Minister Andrew Holness in Parliament yesterday following an a new daily high of 403 coronavirus cases.
Holness also announced a reduction in the number of people allowed to gather for any occasion from 15 to 10 with the changes to be reviewed on February 24.
Holness insisted that the curfew has been the most effective tool in restraining contact, but has been the most expensive because of its effect on the economy, as well as the effect on activities outside of curfew hours.
He noted that the economy is some 70 per cent services based, hence any increased period of curfew will affect both commercial and production activities.
He said that if there is an improvement in the number of persons affected by COVID-19 within the fortnight, the government would be willing to review the hours of closure. But, he added that it would only work if citizens play their part in helping to reduce the positivity of the tests.
“The recent surge should serve as a reminder that the pandemic is not over, and we should not let our guard down,” Holness argued.