Jamaica Begins New Restrictions to Curb Spread of COVID-19

By VOA News*

Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness delivers a speech at the opening ceremony of the China International Import Expo in Shanghai on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019.

Officials in Jamaica say citizens and visitors to the island must now present a negative COVID-19 test result no greater than three days before their travel date this week.

Right now, visitors to Jamaica have 10 days to submit a negative COVID-19 result to enter the island.

The new initiative, which takes effect Thursday, is part of the government’s effort to curtail a surge in cases.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ ban on funerals and burials for two weeks beginning March 7 through the 22 is attracting the most concern, with opposition politicians and funeral service providers saying the delay in burials will cause financial hardships.

The prime minister said funerals already scheduled through March 7 can proceed as planned, with a maximum of 15 people, including the funeral service staff.

The capacity at weddings is being reduced by half from 50 to 25 people.

Jamaica also extended the ban on direct flights from United Kingdom to March 22.

The latest restrictions come as Holness said the country has confirmed just over 1,800 cases in the past week.

So far, Jamaica has confirmed more than 23,200 COVID-19 infections and 422 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

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