Jamaica’s Election Campaigning Affected By COVID-19 Measures

Restrictions are being applied to political campaigning and a new spike in COVID-19 cases coincides with a delay to the start of the school year.

With Jamaica’s elections less than two weeks away, campaigning is looking a bit different under the current COVID-19 restrictions.

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On Friday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that political motorcades have been prohibited in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

“This is to say, motorcades with more than two buses, which we call Coaster buses; motorcades that are stopping and greeting; motorcades that are carrying persons by bus, that will be prohibited,” Holness said at a digital press conference.

Political parties and candidates running in the September 3rd General Election will still be able to conduct community drive-throughs so long as they present their route to the police in advance, though they cannot stop and greet or gather.

Political parties meeting for political purposes are limited to no more than 20 persons and no more than five persons can participate in house-to-house campaigning in a single group.

Meanwhile, curfews remain in place in some areas of the country and Jamaica’s education ministry has announced a one month delay to the start of the 2020-2021 school year as a response to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

The opposition People’s National Party (PNP) has pointed to mismanagement of the coronavirus under Prime Minister Holness.

On Friday, Jamaica recorded 56 new positive cases bringing the overall count to 1,346.

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