Holness making special plans for Christmas amid SOE

Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday promised to ensure that festivities and commerce associated with the Christmas season are not impeded by the special security operations in sections of the island.

Some persons have complained that entertainment and commerce are being affected by the States of Public Emergency (SOE) in St James, the St Catherine North Police Division, and a large part of Kingston and St Andrew – including the island’s largest business district. All three states of public emergency have been extended until January.

Member of Parliament for St Catherine East Central Natalie Neita, in the House of Representatives yesterday (October 16), asked what measures will be put in place to ensure the special security measures don’t prevent people from carrying out the traditional celebration and commerce at Christmas.

Prime Minister Holness, in response, said: “We have started the contemplation of how we will handle the commercial districts in the Christmas period, to ensure that not just the ability of persons to observe the birth of Christ in the traditional ways – but the commerce that surrounds that season as well is not impeded. All of those things are being considered.

“You would have seen that we have been able to – within the Zones of Special Operations and within the state of emergency, make the relevant provisions. Certainly, Reggae Sumfest was one [instance] in which we made a provision. It operated seamlessly; there was no complaint. The same kind of collaborative approach will be taken [during the Christmas season],” added the prime minister, pictured above.


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