Stevian Simmonds reports

The Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association, JMEA, is urging the government to extend the nationwide curfew from 9pm to 11pm, for the Christmas to New Year holiday period.

JMEA President, Richard Pandohie, told Nationwide News yesterday that businesses will need longer opening hours to capitalize on profit-making opportunities that usually come with the festive season.

However, the JMEA boss says strident measures will still be needed, to prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases:

The Planning Institute of Jamaica, PIOJ, reported yesterday that the economy plunged by 11-per cent in the July to September quarter of 2020 when compared to 2019.

The PIOJ says it is expecting the sharp decline in the economy to persist for the rest of the calendar year and Fiscal Year 2020/2021.

For this reason, JMEA President, Richard Pandohie, says it is vital the government allow businesses to extend their opening hours during the Christmas holiday.

Mr. Pandohie says the Health Ministry should ramp up COVID-19 testing, because more people will visit the country during the festive season.

Meanwhile, the JMEA President says events such as grand market should be postponed until 2021.