Jamaica to Provide Funds to Support Residents During Weekend Lockdowns

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Photo: CMC

The Jamaica Government is providing JMD $2 million (US$13,706) for each of the 63 constituencies to support citizens requiring assistance during the expanded triple weekend curfews, which begin on Saturday.

The provision will be allocated to the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) on April 1 for further disbursement.

This was announced by Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr. Nigel Clarke, as he closed the 2021/22 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

“We will have to work on the operational dynamics… but this is the policy intent, that funds will be made available to ease the burden that the most vulnerable of citizens [could potentially] face over those lockdown weekends,” he said.

He noted that the expanded curfews, which were among revised measures announced by Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness, on March 21, are intended to curtail the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) by restricting movement.

“The progress of the vaccination program will also be critical. The evolving nature of the coronavirus public health dynamics could have a significant impact on budgetary outcomes. Uncertainties exist and Sunday’s announcement was a fulfillment of that reality,” Dr. Clarke said.

From March 27 until April 12, weekend curfews will be in effect from noon on Saturdays until 5 a.m. on Mondays.

During the curfew, people will still be allowed to seek urgent medical care and those who have overseas travel plans can make their way to or from the airport.

Essential services will also still be operational. The country’s COVID-19 vaccination program will also continue during curfew hours.

CMC

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