THE Government has recalibrated the all-island curfew order to include tighter restrictions for the Easter weekend.
Announcing the new curfew times at a digital press conference from Jamaica House yesterday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness stressed that as the country reflects during the Easter period on religious sacrifices, Jamaicans should also be willing to make sacrifices to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Starting 8:00 pm yesterday the island is under curfew until 6:00 am today, as per the current order, then beginning today the curfew will start at 8:00 pm and end at 7:00 am tomorrow (Good Friday).
Over the Easter weekend, the curfew will then start at 3:00 pm tomorrow (Good Friday) and end at 7:00 am on Saturday.
These curfew hours are to be observed through to Easter Monday. On Easter Monday the curfew will begin at 3:00 pm and end at 5:00 am on Tuesday, April 14.
The new nightly curfew rules then start at 9:00 pm next Tuesday and end at 5:00 am each morning.
These curfew hours will be maintained until April 21, the prime minister said, noting the longer non-curfew hours, starting April 14.
“Where we will not be impacting significantly economic activity, we take the opportunity to slow down and limit the movement of the virus around in the population,” Holness explained.
He said, for the most part, Jamaicans have been abiding by the curfew, and that more latitude will be allowed if people follow the orders faithfully.
Wear a mask if…
Meanwhile, the emergency orders have been further amended to make it mandatory for certain at-risk individuals to wear masks in public at all times from April 8 to 21.
These include people with respiratory or flu-like symptoms, individuals over the age of 65, people caring for individuals with flu-like or respiratory illness, and those with other conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.
Additionally, the Government is now recommending that the general population wear a mask whenever they have to go out in public.
Holness said that, while it is not an order for the general population, “We strongly recommend it.”
He said scarves, covering the nose and mouth, can also be used in Iieu of masks.
He noted that all four COVID-19 deaths that the country has seen so far have people with multiple underlying illnesses.
In the meantime, from April 8 to 21, people aged 70 and over are ordered not to leave their homes, except for necessities of life, once per day.
This includes food and medication. Those with flu-like symptoms, under the order, must stay at home.
“A part of the strategy of the Government is to ensure that if you are ill with any symptom at all which suggest a flu or a respiratory kind of illness, stay at home. If you violate this order, you can face penalties,” he warned.
— Alphea Saunders
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