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COVID-19: PM says all non-essential work should be done from home

Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton
 
The government has said all non-essential work must be done from home for both the public and private sector, effective Wednesday, March 18. 
 
It was one of several announcements made by Prime Minister Andrew Holness on Monday at a press briefing to give updates about the COVID-19 outbreak. 
 
Mr. Holness also announced that hospital visits have now been reduced to once per day and to one person. 
 
In addition, public gatherings with more than 20 people have been banned. Funerals and weddings should be restricted to just close family members. 
 
Bar, nightclubs and other areas of entertainment have been ordered closed. 
 
However, markets, supermarkets, pharmacies, corner shops, and other essential services will remain open. 
 
Markets will open from 6 am to 2pm. 
 
Where persons must encounter others, they are being reminded to practice social distancing by staying at least four feet away from the next person. 
 
Taxis are now required to transport one less passenger than they are licensed to carry.
 
The measures will last for seven days, with the government revisiting the issue on day five to determine whether to extend it.
 
There will be a penalty of $1 million or imprisonment not exceeding 12 months for persons who fail to comply with rules under the Disaster Risk Management Act (2015). 
 
The Prime Minister also announced that US$2.2 million is being spent on protective gears, which include more than 400,000 masks that should be received next week.   
 
All travellers from countries where there is local spread of COVID-19 will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days. 
 
COVID-19 cases 
 
In the meantime, the government has clarified that there are now 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Jamaica. 
 
It had earlier been announced that the number of cases had increased to 15, up from 10. 
 
However, Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton revealed that the last five cases were preliminary results, and after final testing, two had come back positive for the virus, while the other three were negative.
 
Dr. Tufton said 340 persons have entered Jamaica from a country of interest; 26 in quarantine in government facilities; 43 in home quarantine; and 23 in isolation. 
 
 


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