Restrictions on private gatherings for Xmas

JAMAICA’S Government is extending its restrictions to include private gatherings while maintaining its prohibition on parties and events for the Yuletide season. The move is in an effort to curtail the spread of novel coronavirus.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the announcement in Parliament yesterday.

The new restrictions would begin December 1 and end on January 15, 2021.

“These are not normal times, and we will not be able to celebrate Christmas in the normal way this year. Celebrating Christmas in the normal way would mean keeping our schools closed. We must continue to be vigilant and responsible over the next few months, starting with the upcoming Christmas season,” said Holness.

“We are approaching another period of high risk for the pandemic… We must remain diligent in our adherence to the infection prevention and control measures and not jeopardise our recovery prospects in 2021… After consultation with a number of stakeholder groups, Cabinet is considering the following measures for December 2020 to mid-January 2021… The gathering limit is proposed to remain at 15 and the prohibition on parties and events to remain in place. However, we propose that the order under the Disaster Risk Management Act be amended to say that all gatherings; whether in public or private spaces, should be no more than 15 persons… I am appealing to all Jamaicans to be responsible in the way we celebrate Christmas this year. It should not be about large gatherings of family and friends but rather small groups of 15 or less; whether in public or private spaces,” he continued.

As of yesterday, over 10,000 people have tested positive for the virus, while the death toll stood close to 250.

Islandwide curfew hours, which currently begin at 9:00 pm and end at 5:00 pm, would also be adjusted.

For the month of December, except for public holidays, the start time would be shifted by an hour from 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm, while the end time remains at 5:00 am.

On Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day, the curfew is slated to start at 7:00 pm and end at 5:00 am the following day.

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