Jamaica announces night curfew amid COVID

Prime Minister Andrew Holness this evening announced an island-wide night curfew, from Wednesday (April 1) to April 8.

The curfew, which restricts people’s movement, will be effective from 8PM to 6AM each day.

It is aimed at minimizing the spread of the highly contagious and potentially deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Prime Minister Holness, during a press conference this evening, said there will be exemptions, including medical personnel and members of the security forces.

Those exemptions will be formally announced via gazette tomorrow, March 31.

The prime minister emphasized that the police have been instructed to enforce the curfew.

“That means there will be a restriction on public transportation and all movement, except those that will follow on the gazette – and we will have the gazette published tomorrow,” he said.

He further stated that the decision was discussed during a sitting of the Cabinet today, adding that his team found the curfew necessary and timely.

The prime minister explained: “We have gotten reports from right across the island, and it is clear that whilst there was a fairly high level of compliance to the various Orders that were made over the last two weeks, that over the weekend, we recognised that there is an increase in movement.

“This increase in movement has come at a time when we are expecting that there would be a greater probability for infections, given the fact that we have had coming into the island, close to 7,000 visitors, residents and Jamaicans…who we cannot say, with certainty, were faithful to the quarantine rules,” Prime Minister Holness further said.

Jamaica so far recorded 36 confirmed COVID-19 cases – including one death. One person has recovered fully.

Prime Minister Holness, in the meantime, cautioned that a ‘significant rise’ is expected in the number of confirmed cases.


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