JAMAICA | Security Forces on High Alert to Enforce Stringent COVID-19 Measures

JAMAICA | Security Forces on High Alert  to Enforce Stringent COVID-19 Measures

KINGSTON, Jamaica, March 27, 2021 - The island's security forces have finalised preparations for the enforecment of the islandwide weekend  lock down over the next three weeks, the first of which is to take place this weekend commencing at 12 noon on Saturday, March 27 and ending at 5 a.m. on Monday, March 29.

These and other matters are contained in the Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (No. 4) Order, 2021 were also high on the agenda to further clamp down on the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health. 

Prime Minister Holness in a Jamaica House release noted that the measures should be ‘strictly enforced. Both the JCF and JDF Heads expressed their commitments to a joined-up approach to enforcing the measures and clamp down on crime hotspots.

Members of the Public are being reminded that all workplaces should close at 12 noon on Friday, March 26, 2021, Thursday, April 1, 2021, and Friday, April 9, 2021, except those that are providing services including finance, security, health, water, electricity, food and other critical services.

The lock down for the next three weekends including the Easter weekend will see persons only being allowed to move between 5 am and 12 noon on Saturday mornings; apart from the specific exemptions where persons need to perform job related duties.

As noted in the Order, persons en route to the airport for the purpose of travel, or having arrived in Jamaica, are en route from the airport to their intended place of residence, are permitted to do so during curfew hours. This includes persons transporting them to or from the airport provided that they immediately return to their place of residence after providing such transportation. 

Additionally, persons will also be allowed to go to vaccination centres, as we seek to get as many persons vaccinated as possible given the need to reduce the stress on our health system.

The security forces were sensitized to the provision in the Order that permits a maximum of 12 persons (including officiating clergy and IT personnel) to be physically present in the place of worship to conduct and/or electronically broadcast a worship service between 9am and 4pm on no movement days. To ensure this is done in an orderly manner, a standard approval process has been agreed with church organization to facilitate this limited movement to and from churches.

Persons are reminded that those who are permitted to leave their abode or place of residence shall produce satisfactory proof of identification or other authorization documents on being requested to do so by an authorized officer.

The Security Council was also informed that all systems are set to go for the Portmore pilot of the E-commerce National Delivery Solution (ENDS), which was developed in partnership with the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica to enable business continuity during the curfew hours through this digital platform. The inclusive innovation and its relevance beyond the pandemic is already being lauded.

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