Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced a lock-down of the entire parish of St. Catherine initially for seven days in an attempt to minimize the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The lock-down will start at 5AM on Wednesday (April 15) and end at 5AM on April 22.
People will be allowed out of their premises IF:
– They are essential workers showing no flu-like symptom or respiratory illness
– They have medical emergencies
– They want to purchase the essentials of life (food or medicine)
The purchase of food or medicine will be allowed only on Wednesday and Saturday.
This is how shopping should be done:
– People with surnames starting with ‘A’ through to ‘M’ will be allowed to shop from 10AM to 1:30 PM.
– People with surnames starting with ‘N’ through to ‘Z’ are permitted to shop from 1:30PM to 5PM.
– Persons who are pregnant, physically challenged, or 65 years and older should shop from 8AM until 10AM.
Prime Minister Holness, during a press conference on Tuesday, April 14, said all points in and out of St. Catherine are now checkpoints. He noted that people with COVID-19 symptoms will not be allowed to leave the parish.
“There should be no unnecessary movement in the parish for seven days…” he emphasized, adding that people allowed to travel should have their identification cards.
Residents of the parish who work outside should stay home unless they are essential workers or are shopping within the guidelines mentioned above.
People using main roads to pass through St. Catherine should expect various checkpoints and delays. It is better for them to use the highways, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) said.
It further explained: “Where possible, commuters are encouraged to avoid traversing the parish of St. Catherine unnecessarily and to use alternative routes. All non-essential workers travelling from Clarendon direction to Kingston are being advised to use the Highway 2000. Those travelling from St. Ann direction to Kingston should use the North-South Highway, as access to the highway from St. Catherine will be restricted. Only essential workers with appropriate identification will be allowed access to Kingston from St. Catherine via the Mandela Highway.”
Prime Minister Holness, in the meantime, said the lock-down is necessary because St. Catherine is facing a major threat, partly because of a COVID-19 outbreak at Alorica call centre at Portmore in the parish.
A whopping 33 cases have been confirmed at the call centre, including two that were announced previously. The call centre employs 787 people.
The total number of COVID-19 cases on the island is 105, including five deaths and 21 recoveries.
Here is a list of the ESSENTIAL WORKERS who will have special privileges to travel and work during the St. Catherine lock-down:
- People in the sugarcane industry
- Any Member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force or the Jamaica Defence Force
- Any person employed in a service concerning the provision of health, water, electricity, public works, sanitation, firefighting, civil aviation or telecommunications
- Members of the Houses of Parliament and persons employed to the Houses of Parliament
- Mayors and Councillors of Municipal Corporations
- Permanent Secretaries
- Veterinary surgeons, licensed under the Veterinary Act
- Persons employed in services connected with oil-refining and with the loading, distribution, transportation or retail of petroleum fuel, liquefied natural gas or any renewable energy source
- Persons employed in services connected with the loading and unloading of ships and with the storage and delivery of goods at, or from, docks, wharves and warehouses operated in connection with docks or wharves
- Immigration Officers and Customs Officers
- Correctional services officers
- Persons employed in the transportation of agricultural produce or livestock or employed in the poultry industry (including catching crew, poultry processing plant staff and the staff of the feed mills)
- Persons employed in the sugarcane industry
- The Judiciary and persons employed to the courts
- Persons employed to the media (such as journalists, television or radio presenters, camera operators, announcers, engineers, technicians and newspaper delivery personnel)
- Persons employed to tourist establishments as defined by the Public Health (Tourist Establishments) Regulations, 2000
- Persons employed in the provision of public transportation by the Jamaican Urban Transit Company or the Montego Bay Metro Company Limited
- Persons employed to the business process outsourcing sector
- Persons employed to business providing private security
- Persons employed to the Jamaica Printing Services Limited
- Persons employed to the Toll Authority established under the Toll Roads Act
- Persons employed to courier services
- Persons employed in the bauxite or alumina industries
- Persons authorized in writing by the Director General of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management
- Persons employed in an service or activity designated in writing by the Minister with responsibility for national security , with the approval of the Cabinet, as an exempt service or activity…
- Persons engaged in the transportation of manufactured products
- Persons employed to factories as defined under the Factories Act
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