KINGSTON, Jamaica – In an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19 across the island Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Wednesday announced the extension of the no-movement days for two more weeks.
He made the announcement during a news briefing to update the nation.
The no-movement days announced are Sunday, September 5; Monday, September 6; Tuesday, September 7; Sunday, September 12; Monday, September 13; and Tuesday, September 14.
Holness said that outside of the no-movement days the nightly curfew will begin at 7:00 pm (local time) and end at 5:00 am the next day, except on Saturdays when the curfew begins at 6:00 pm.
The prime minister added that workplaces will be required to close at midday on Friday, September 3 and on Friday, September 10, to help the public prepare for the new lockdown measures.
The existing provisions remain in place for churches, funerals and weddings.
Meanwhile, the work from home directive in the public sector is being extended until September 17.
In his address, the Prime Minister said that Permanent secretaries and heads of agencies should strictly ensure that only persons who work in critical positions are physically present at work offices or plants.
Private sector businesses are being encouraged to do the same.
Holness also said that there are signs of hope as the stricter measures implemented over the past two weeks are now making a dent on the infection rate islandwide.
Holness said the island’s reproductive rate or Ro of the coronavirus infections, which was 1.4 two weeks ago, is now calculated to be at 1.1.
“Now this is not any point of celebration… We are grateful that it is down. What it shows is that the tighter measures are starting to show some results and it is starting to bend the curve,” he said.
However, he emphasized that the reproductive rate is still too high, as it remains above one, which means that the rate of infection will lead to a further increase in the coronavirus cases locally if the rate is not controlled.
“While we starting to see some early signs of improvement, for example, with our Ro declining,
The announcement by the Prime Minister comes as the country recorded 351 new cases of COVID-19 and 31 additional deaths on Tuesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 68,482 and the death toll to 1,549.