Cash for lockdowns

As Jamaica prepares to go under lockdown for three consecutive weekends, the Government will be doling out $126 million to help the most vulnerable.

Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke announced in Parliament on Tuesday that each constituency will receive an allocation of $2 million.

The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) has found that 57 per cent of Jamaican households saw a reduction in income between the onset of the coronavirus in March and September last year.

It is estimated that more than 135,000 Jamaicans lost their jobs since the start of the pandemic, though some of those have been recovered.

The money will be disbursed to the Constituency Development Fund on April 1 for further distribution.

“These uncertainties increase the risks in the budgeting and fiscal forecasting process,” Clarke stated as he explained how the Government has had to be flexible in managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced on Sunday that the country was now at “breaking point” as COVID-19 cases continue to soar.

On Friday, March 26, 2021, workplaces will be required to close at noon, except for essential services, medical establishments, supermarkets, wholesale stores, pharmacies, restaurants, and other food establishments, which will remain open until 8 p.m.

On March 27, the curfew will begin at 12 p.m., and continue until March 29 at 5 a.m.

The Government is prohibiting movement on March 28.

On March 29 to 31, the curfew hours will run from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. nightly, Holness announced

On Holy Thursday, April 1, the curfew will begin at 8:00 p.m. and workplaces, except for essential services, will again be required to close at noon.

Commencing April 2, no movement will be permitted until Monday, April 6 at 5 a.m.

Finally, on Saturday, April 10 through to Monday, April 12 at 5 a.m., the country will come to a standstill.