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17 Nov 2020 | 05:42 AM UTC

Authorities extends nightly curfew until December 1

Jamaican authorities extend nightly 21:00 - 05:00 curfew until December 1 amid COVID-19 pandemic; follow official directives

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Event

Jamaican authorities have extended the existing nationwide 21:00 - 05:00 (local time) curfew until December 1, amid the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Public transport may continue to operate one hour before and after the curfew to facilitate the pick-up and drop-off of passengers. Taxis are required to carry one less passenger.

Additional measures remain in place across the country. Public gatherings may be held with no more than 15 people attending, including burial and church services. Most commercial activity has resumed, although businesses are encouraged to continue adopting work from home models for their employees. Recreational facilities have reopened subject to operating requirements. Face masks are required in public places and interpersonal distance of at least 2m (6ft) should be observed.

Quarantine measures for people entering the country will also continue; travelers are required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, regardless of a negative COVID-19 test result, unless they are business travelers whose stay is shorter than 14 days. All travelers arriving into Jamaica must have prior authorization from the Visit Jamaica website and will be tested for COVID-19 and screened for symptoms on arrival. Those arriving from the US, Brazil, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic will be required to present a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result for COVID-19 acquired no more than seven days prior to their arrival.

As of Tuesday, November 17, there have been 9929 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 231 associated fatalities in Jamaica. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

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