Prime Minister Andrew Holness says that Jamaicans will once again be required to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and combat the current fifth wave of the pandemic the island is experiencing.
Holness emphasised that one of the issues affecting the spread of COVID-19 in Jamaica is the general lack of regard for personal space among the population.
He was speaking today during the official handing-over of a newly built house in Latium, St James, which was constructed under the Government’s New Social Housing Programme.
In his keynote address, Holness noted that one of the issues affecting the spread of COVID-19 in Jamaica is the general lack of regard for personal space among the population.
The prime minister also urged Jamaicans to get vaccinated as a means of protecting themselves against COVID-19.
“It is going to be a requirement shortly for all of our citizens to wear their masks. After two years, everyone should know how to behave in order to protect themselves from the virus,” Holness said, though he did not indicate how soon such a mandate might come into effect.
Holness’ declaration comes a day after the Ministry of Education and Youth mandated the wearing of masks in schools effective immediately, in response to the latest rise in the coronavirus infection rate.
In a media briefing earlier this week, Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton confirmed that Jamaica is now experiencing the fifth wave of the virus’ spread, which he attributed to the highly transmissible Omicron sub-variant BA 2, which is present in the population.
Last month, the Government was criticised for its lifting of the mask mandate on April 15, amid concerns that COVID-19 was still present despite lowered infection rates at the time.
Christopher Thomas – Gleaner Writer
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