Understanding COVID-19 restrictions

Sherry Ann McGregor
Sherry Ann McGregor

March 30, 2020

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The offspring of COVID-19 are panic, fear, and anxiety, and they are nurtured by confusion about new rules and regulations regarding when persons can leave their homes, where they can go, and what they can do.

Although there is not enough space in this column to explain it all in detail, I will at least try to simplify what important parts of the Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) (No. 2) Order, 2020 (‘Order No. 2’) are saying.

Q1. What order should you look to for guidance?

A. Order No. 2. It revoked and replaced the Disaster Risk Management (Enforcement Measures) Order, 2020.

Q2. What period does Order No. 2 cover?

A. Order No. 2 covers most activities between March 25, 2020, and April 7, 2020. Places of amusement, salons, barbershops, and infirmaries are affected until April 23, 2020, and educational institutions shall remain closed until April 19, 2020.

Q3. Who can enter Jamaica?

A. The general rule is that no person will be allowed to enter Jamaica between March 25 and April 7, 2020, without being authorised by the minister responsible for immigration, subject to Cabinet approval.

Q4. Who needs to self-quarantine (that is, remain at home or in a hotel and not leave), and for how long?

A. Any person who entered Jamaica between March 18 and 21, 2020, from a country that has local transmission of COVID-19 must self-quarantine until April 7, 2020.

Q5. Can a person who has self-quarantined leave Jamaica before April 7, 2020?

A. Yes, but only if that person does not have COVID-19 symptoms.

Q6. What should a person who has flu-like symptoms do?

A. If a person who entered Jamaica between March 18 and 21, 2020, had contact with someone who had travelled to a country affected by COVID-19, is infected with the virus, or is exposed to someone who is infected, that person must self-quarantine and contact the Ministry of Health and Wellness immediately.

Q7. What is the status of a person who entered Jamaica after March 21, 2020?

A. That person must remain in quarantine at home or elsewhere for a period of 14 days from the date of arrival.

Q8. Who should go to work?

A. An employee whose task can only be discharged at the workplace must go to work, unless the employer permits that employee to do otherwise.

Q9. Who should work from home?

A. All persons who can do so, as well as persons who work for the Government and are 65 years of age or older. Such persons may be required to work from home, if possible.

Q10. Who can gather in public places?

A. Only groups that do not exceed 10 persons can gather in public places, and only if they remain at least three feet apart. There are several exceptions, including public passenger vehicles and persons who work at courts, in the police force, or in the military, among others.

Q11. Who must stay at home?

A. Persons who are 75 years of age and older shall not leave home, except once per day for food, medicine, or other necessities of life.

Q12. What establishments are closed?

A. All bars, nightclubs, and other places of amusement (places open to the public, whether they are enclosed, open-air, free, or paid venues) are closed until April 23, 2020.

Q13. Can you go to the barbershop or hair salon?

A. Yes. However, only 10 persons can be inside the shop at any given time, and only two of those persons can be customers waiting to be served.

Q14. Can I visit someone in an infirmary?

A. Yes. However, each patient in an infirmary may have one visitor per day, and that visitor may only visit once per day.

The most important points to note are that there is an obligation to inform the Ministry of Health and Wellness (888-ONE-LOVE, or 888-663-5683) if a person develops COVID-19 symptoms and that all directives and requirements must be strictly followed.

Sherry Ann McGregor is a partner, mediator, and arbitrator in the firm of Nunes Scholefield DeLeon & Co. Please send questions and comments to lawsofeve@gmail.com.

Sherry Ann McGregor


Sherry Ann McGregor

Sherry Ann McGregor is a partner, mediator, and arbitrator in the firm of Nunes Scholefield DeLeon & Co.

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