Effective February 1, 2021, for one month the prohibition on funeral services has been modified.
The Prime Minister told Parliament: “The inability to have a proper funeral service on the passing of a loved one makes it even more difficult to get closure. Madam Speaker, in December, we had indicated that we would be examining the possibility of allowing funeral services with specific restrictive protocols. We now propose to permit funeral services initially for February,”.
Funeral services must be held under the following conditions:
- The number of persons permitted to gather at any time should not exceed one person for every 36 square feet of the area concerned but, in any case, should not exceed 15 persons, regardless of the size of the area.
- Of the maximum number of 15 persons, no more than 10 shall be mourners.
- Protocols such as the wearing of masks, taking of temperature on entry, hand washing/sanitization on entry, and maintaining physical distancing must be strictly observed at the funeral service.
The Prime Minister asserted that if persons do not adhere to the protocols, the measure will be rescinded.
“Let me make it clear that we propose to allow this initially for one month and we will be closely monitoring compliance with these protocols. If we find that the protocols are generally not being observed, we may have no choice but to revert to a prohibition on funeral services.
The existing rules for burials are proposed to remain in place,” said Prime Minister Holness.
Furthermore, the Prime Minister also announced the following changes.
- Public passenger buses will now be allowed to have a limited number of standing passengers based on the seating capacity. A ratio of one (1) standing passenger to every five (5) seated will be allowed at this time.
- Face masks must always be worn during travel as well as at bus stops.
- Commuters are encouraged to refrain from or minimize speaking while on buses as this is one of the main ways the virus is transmitted among persons in a confined space.
- Cabinet has approved for certain sporting events to proceed for February. However, the organizers of the sporting events must apply to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Ministry of Health and Wellness for approval.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Holness stated that the Government is considering the reopening of the entertainment sector.
“Regarding the entertainment sector, we hear the appeals, and we are sensitive to the fact that many persons depend on this sector for their livelihoods. We want to ensure that the reopening of the sector is done on a safe sustainable basis with a strengthened risk management framework,” said Prime Minister Holness.
In that regard, the Prime Minister stated that a cross-ministerial meeting is to be held next week with the Ministries of Local Government and Rural Development, Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, and Health and Wellness to re-examine proposals made for the reopening of the entertainment sector.
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