Dr. Andrew Manning
The Medical Association of Jamaica (MAJ) says the right decision was made to tighten curfew hours for the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
Jamaicans will be given an extra hour for activities during most of December, with the nightly curfews to begin at 10 o'clock.
However, the hours will be curtailed for the public holidays.
MAJ President Dr. Andrew Manning said the Prime Minister has sought to find a balance between public health and the economy.
"It's clearly an attempt to find a balance between public safety and allowing some time for economic activity, which we need. Except for Christmas Day and Boxing Day, persons should be able to go about their business from 5:00 a.m. in the morning at 10:00 p.m. at night. I'm sure that persons would wish to have further extension of the hours, but I think it's an attempt to find a balance," he surmised.
But Dr. Manning said clarification is needed on the 15-person limit in public and private places.
"I'm not sure exactly how they arrived at that number, and you also have to consider the size of the venue that you having these activities at. If you have a small house or apartment, then clearly you wouldn't be able to maintain the six-foot physical distancing rule with 15 people. So there are guidelines and proposals and everybody has to look on them and bear their personal circumstances and capabilities in mind," he suggested.
Dr. Manning was speaking Wednesday on the Morning Agenda on Power 106.
Citizens support curfew
In the meantime, the government is receiving support for the holiday curfew hours from residents in Falmouth, Trelawny.
Some of the respondents to a Radio Jamaica News vox pop believe that the curfew hours should have been reduced for the Christmas season, considering fears of a spike, while others were satisfied with the adjustments.
"Him say last night pon di news, if you don't affi travel, yuh nuh affi travel.... Whole heep a people come from foreign and unuh gather around, the virus spread quicker. And if you don't affi go out go party, nuh go out go party, just stay a yuh yard," one resident said, recalling the plea from the Prime Minister.