Jamaica government officials tightened local curfews late Monday following a spike in local COVID-19 hospitalizations in the tourism-reliant Caribbean nation.
Beginning August 11 through August 31, a curfew will extend from 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Mondays to Fridays; from 6:00 pm to 5:00 am on Saturdays and from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. on Sundays, said Andrew Holness, Jamaica’s prime minister, in a virtual press briefing.
Commercial establishments will be required to close “generally be one hour before curfew begins,” Holness said. Jamaica’s government will “gradually ease in” tighter COVID protocols, he added.
“We have analyzed how we implemented measures in the past and have heard the concerns, criticisms and suggestions of our stakeholders who have said that the implementation of tighter measures steeply sometimes causes congestion and panic,” he said in the address.
Jamaican beaches which are “not under management or control” will be closed, Holness said, while beaches that remain open will operate under hours of between 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays and 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Sundays.
Jamaica’s rivers, several of which are normally accessible to visitors via tours, will be restricted to domestic use and river rafting only, “in accordance with the established protocols,” Holness said. River access periods will mirror the beach operating hours.
Places of worship will be restricted to having no more than 50 persons in physical attendance including clergy and support personnel, with no “crusades, conferences or conventions” permitted.