Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced stricter measures regarding the movement of senior citizens – a group that the deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is known to affect more severely.

He stated that, effective Wednesday (March 25), persons 75 years and older must stay at home for 14 days, subject to exemptions that are to be specified.

The exemptions, prime minister Holness added, will allow senior citizens to conduct ‘the essentials of life’. He said the exemptions are to be disclosed on Tuesday, March 24.

The prime minister, in the meantime, reasoned that the order does not apply to Members of Parliament.

While urging Jamaicans to abide by the rule, he noted: “We have placed this in the order covered by the Disaster Management Act, so there are penalties that can be put in place and enforcement can be done.”

The prime minister further announced that public sector workers 65 years and older will be mandated to work from home – unless under exceptional circumstances.

In relation to the private sector workers, he said: “If your private sector employer should so decide that you must work from home, then the government endorses and supports that.”

Prime Minister Holness also noted that the previous requirement for non-essential public sector employees to work from home has been extended to another 14 days, starting March 25.

He added that he is pleased that the private sector has been following suit.

“If your private sector employer had put in place a system of staying at home and work, that’s fine by us. We like that the private sector is following Government in this instance, and that they are doing it according to maintaining their own business operations as best as they can,” the prime minister further said.

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By Mills