Face-to-face classes have been shut down for all students and lockdowns imposed for three weekends from March 26 until April 12 as the Holness administration seeks to rein in a runaway wave of COVID-19 infections.
The country has recorded 533 deaths and more than 35,300 cases – with 18,426 infections classified as active. Nine new deaths were tallied on Saturday.
Addressing a Jamaica House press briefing on Sunday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that the lockdowns would begin from midday on Saturdays to Mondays at 5 a.m.
Arguing that compliance with the current measures to restrict the spread of the highly contagious virus was not being achieved by moral suasion, Holness said that the tougher new restrictions would be policed with rigour and breaches prosecuted.
With the public hospitals at breaking point, some exceeding their capacities by up to 150 per cent, the prime minister noted that the Government had no option but to impose tighter restrictions.