Jamaica tightens curfew with Covid-19 cases surging

Jamaica has imposed tighter Covid-19 restrictions due to the rapid surge in case numbers and hospitalizations since June 1, said Prime Minister Andrew Holness in a press conference on Aug. 10. 

The new restrictions are in effect through Aug. 31.

Curfew hours run from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m Monday through Friday; 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday.

Beaches are closed from 6 a.m to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Nightclubs are closed; gyms, restaurants, zoos and bars must operate at 50% capacity with social distancing enforced.

Weddings are limited to 50 attendees; public events can have no more than 30 in attendance.

Masks must be worn at all times; social distancing will be enforced. 

Holness warned that if the case numbers do not drop, “no movement at all during the day is possible.”

Tourists are required to stay in the “Resilient Corridors” designated for tourism purposes along the north and south coasts of the island and are required to remain at their hotel or resort within the corridor for the duration of their stay, according to the Jamaica Tourist Board.

However, they may leave the hotel to visit any tourist attraction that is certified by the Jamaica Tourist Board to be a Covid-19 Resilient Licensed tourist attraction located within the Resilient Corridors. The list of such attractions is available at VisitJamaica.com.

All travel to and from the attraction must be on transportation licensed under the Tourist Board Act.

Travel regulations remain in place. All travelers must submit proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test or antigen test taken within three days of travel. Travelers must complete and submit the online travel authorization form between two and five days prior to arrival and must submit the approval during the airline check-in process.

Hospitals full in Jamaica

Holness reported that a number of hospitals in Jamaica are operating at overcapacity. “Between Aug. 1 and 8, there were 1,903 Covid case reported or 238 a day, which is five times the daily number of cases reported from June 1 to July 13,” he said.

Despite the spike in cases, Holness said that he is “not inclined to mandate vaccinations at this time. I can assure Jamaicans that vaccines are available with more shipments of the AstraZeneca vaccine arriving this week,” Holness said.

Holness and his team plan a road show “into every nook and cranny and community across Jamaica to urge Jamaicans to get vaccinated and to assure that all people have access to the vaccine.”

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