Prime Minister Andrew Holness has announced nightly islandwide curfews for a period of seven (7) days with effect from 8:00pm on April 1, 2020 to 6:00am on April 8, 2020. This is the latest in a series of measures announced by the Government to contain the novel coronavirus, COVID19, in Jamaica.

The imposition of the curfew means, there will be restrictions on all movement of persons except for those in the medical services (doctors, nurses), persons in the Business Processing Outsourcing industry and other personnel who fall under the essential services, beyond the hours stipulated. Exempted persons will be required to produce valid identification. There will also be restrictions on public transportation.

The Prime Minister made the announcement last night (Monday, March 30) during a virtual press conference at Jamaica House.

Further to the announced amendment under the Disaster Risk Management Act, Prime Minister Holness informed that persons who arrived on the island between March 18-23, are now mandated to report to the Ministry of Health and Wellness via the website; or by contacting 888-ONE-LOVE (663-5683) and to “faithfully disclose all information that is required” including their health status and whether they have been observing the guidelines for self-quarantine.

Importantly, the Prime Minister noted that the country is reaching a “turning point” at this stage of the spread of the virus. He underscored that to date, 362 samples have been tested and of the amount 36 tested positive, 9 results are pending and the rest returned negative results.

In the meantime, the Prime Minister stated that, the opening hours of markets will now be extended from the previously announced 6:00am to 2:00pm, to a new time of 6:00am to 6:00pm from Thursday to Saturday. The Prime Minister observed that this extension will allow persons more time to complete their shopping without violating the rules of social distancing.

The Prime Minister reiterated that movement should be limited to homes as this will lessen the chances of the spread of the virus in the country. He again called on all Jamaicans to be responsible and to adhere to the measures announced by the Government.