Puerto Rico, Jamaica start curfews and other Covid measures

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Montego Bay [Credit: Dean Fikar/Shutterstock.com]
Jamaica hotel guests must remain on property during curfew hours. Pictured, a panoramic view of Montego Bay. Photo Credit: Dean Fikar/Shutterstock

At least two Caribbean countries islands have introduced new curfews and rules to stall the spread of Covid-19.

In Puerto Rico, new guidelines to existing health and safety measures are in effect through Sept. 23.

All businesses must close between midnight and 5 a.m. seven days a week except for emergency services such as pharmacies, hospitals and gas stations. Restaurants will offer delivery service only; hotel restaurants remain open but only for hotel guests.

Masks are mandatory in all indoor spaces as well as outdoor places with more than 50 people, regardless of vaccination status.

In Jamaica, meanwhile, prime minister Andrew Holness announced that thee three-day No Movement Days measure launched last month to stall the spread of Covid-19 will be held again in September.

From Saturday Sept. 11 through Tuesday Sept. 14, an islandwide curfew will be in effect in the evenings: Saturday from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. and Sunday and Monday  from 7 pm. to 5 a.m. Only essential businesses will remain open, and only essential workers will be allowed to be out in public.

Hotel and resort guests must remain on property during the curfew hours.

Jamaicans headed to vaccination sites will be permitted to travel to the sites.

The No Movement Days program is an effort to curb the recent rise in Covid case numbers and to increase the number of vaccinations among locals and residents.

During a televised press conference, Holness reported that as of Sept. 1, 408,000 Jamaicans had had at least one dose of vaccine Jamaica has a population of  2.9 million.

He said that the two previous No Movement weekends had resulted in a slight dip in case numbers and hospitalizations. "Jamaicans should not panic," he said. "We have the situation under control to rapidly end the upward curve in Covid cases, but this is not the time to relax."

An island-wide vaccination campaign has ramped up efforts to boost vax numbers by increasing vaccination sites and extending hours.

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