Monday, May 04, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Prime Minister Andrew Holness could make a decision on the reopening of bars soon, even as he announced that those establishments are to remain closed until May 31.

Addressing a digital press conference at Jamaica House a short while ago, the prime minister noted the importance of bars, and other places of amusement to the economy.

He said Cabinet spent considerable time today deliberating “the issue of bars”.

“The Cabinet spent a great deal of time discussing the issue of bars. Bars in Jamaica, aside from the entertainment and the social gathering that happens there, is a significant economic activity,” the prime minister said, adding that “our estimate shows there are in excess of 10,000 bars in Jamaica.”

“We are studying the impact on the people whose livelihood depends on the bars and we are very sympathetic to that situation, and in a few days we should say to the public exactly what measures we can take, and of course any measure that we take, must conform with the public science and the risk management of the opening up of bars, or any other businesses, so we are considering it very carefully, and within a few days, when I am before you like this, we should have some policy in place.”

Bars were ordered closed by the Government as of March 18, as part of efforts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Mark Cummings

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