Saturday 4 July, 2020

Jamaica mandates non-essential staff to work from home for 7 days

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

All non-essential workers in both the public and private sectors have been mandated to work from home for seven days as of Wednesday, March 18.

This was announced by Prime Minister Andrew Holness during a press conference at Jamaica House on Monday as the government steps up efforts to contain the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The new requirements will be reviewed after five days to determine whether they should remain in force going forward.

For the public sector, all permanent secretaries have been asked to examine all functions in the ministries, departments and agencies under their supervision. The prime minister indicated that some private sector entities have already mandated non-essential staff to work from home.

Also, hospital visits will be cut to one per day and to one person only, and outpatient visits to hospitals will be scaled down.

The government has, in the meantime, approved a contract for the provision of protective gear and equipment in the amount of US$2.2 million.

The Government is also instituting a new restriction for public gatherings of no more than 20 persons and individuals will be required to maintain a distance of three to four feet from each other.

And bars and nightclubs will be closed and the police empowered to enforce the new requirements.

The requirements apply to weddings and funerals and Holness is appealing to persons to limit these activities to close family only.

Markets, supermarkets, corner shops and pharmacies will remain open.

Markets will be open from 6 am until 2 pm and vendors and shoppers are asked to maintain social distancing and to practice hand sanitisation regime.

All travelers from countries where there is local transmission of COVID-19 will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

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