Work hours restricted: PM announces new islandwide curfew hours, urges public to wear masks

Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has tightened curfew hours islandwide as the country tackles the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Holness said the new daily curfew hours will run from 6:00pm until 6:00am each day. The new 12-hour curfew will commence on Wednesday, April 22 at 6:00 pm and run for 14 days.

The prime minister also ordered that work hours be restricted to 8:00am to 4:00pm. Supermarkets, pharmacies and corner shops will be allowed to close at 5:00 pm. Holness said markets are to operate from 6:00 am to 4:00 pm except on Sundays when it will be closed.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness addressing police officers in St Catherine on Sunday (April 19).

He also said it is now mandatory for all Jamaicans to wear a mask in public spaces.

The announcement comes as the country recorded another 27 cases of the virus, pushing the total number of people infected to 223.

The spike in COVID-19 cases prompted a lockdown of St Catherine last Wednesday.

Adjustment to St Catherine restriction

Meanwhile, St Catherine’s lockdown restrictions will continue for another 14 days but have been adjusted to allow more days for shopping.

Holness said that effective Wednesday, April 22, the alphabetical classification for shopping will be removed and the number of days to replenish goods will increase.

A police officer checking the temperature of a motorist at a checkpoint in St Catherine last week.

According to Holness, residents will be allowed to shop from 8:00am to 4:00pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays during the length of the lockdown.

The remaining three days have been classified as “no movement days” by the prime minister and he said stores will be allowed to restock their supplies on those days.

However, pharmacies will be allowed to remain open for the same period on all days but will be limited to selling only pharmaceuticals on Wednesdays.