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SOE business hours to be relaxed for Christmas season

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Business operating hours for parishes under a State of Public Emergency (SOE) will be adjusted in order to facilitate increased commercial activities during the upcoming Christmas season, says Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

“For the month of December, the minister of national security will have a gazette published, which will have the opening and closing hours for business establishments reverting to the normal course of operation.

“So, whatever is allowed within the law normally, that is what you would revert to,” Holness said.

He was speaking in the House of Representatives yesterday on resolutions to extend the SOEs in the parishes of St James, Hanover, Westmoreland, Clarendon and St Catherine.

He said the objective of the Government is not to disrupt the activities of law-abiding citizen, nor negatively impact commerce.

He explained that while it is “very difficult to control an area if regular opening times are permitted in the first phase of the SOE, as the operations progress… and we bring into custody those we know are creating conflict, as we dismantle the gangs that we know are creating the problems, we can relax the closing times”.

“It is the intention of the Government to ensure that by the Christmas period, by the first week in December that the closing times are adjusted accordingly to allow for people to enjoy the season,” Holness added.

Members of the House voted to extend the SOEs in St James, Hanover and Westmoreland until January 27, 2020, while the SOEs in Clarendon and St Catherine will continue until January 18, 2020.


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