Kingston, November 28, FCR
In a bid to curtail any possible spike in COVID 19 statistics, Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced the new curfew hours for the period December 1 to mid-January 2021.
During this period, curfews will begin at 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. on public holidays, while regular days will see the curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily. Currently, the curfew starts at 9 p.m. and ends at 5 a.m. the next day.
Additionally, the Prime Minister said that the gathering limit of 15 persons in public would also cover private gatherings.
These new measures were announced on Tuesday, November 24, to the House of Representatives. This move he said, will require amendment to the Disaster Risk Management Act.
Freedom Come RAIN (FCR) spoke with some church representatives about the restrictions, and this is what they said. Mr. Paul Henry, Elder of Swallowfield Chapel in the Corporate Area, noted that his church is strongly considering a Virtual Watch-Night (New Year’s Eve) Service, instead of the usual physical gathering which would normally start from about 10p.m. and continue until 12 midnight.
Likewise, Lt. Bourne of the Salvation Army Church in Darleston, Westmoreland, said that her planning committee will consider a virtual Watch-night service; the other option would be a service much earlier in the day.
While Potter’s House Minister and Worship Leader, Angela Anderson, said that although it is not customary for her church which is based in St. Andrew, to hold a Watch-night service, the restrictions would affect their annual candle light service.
This service takes place the third Sunday of December. “This is a night service”, she explained.
Regarding the limit on social gatherings, Elder Henry said that he does not interpret this to apply to regular church services: “As long as we abide within the limits of the protocols regarding social distancing and other conditions, we should be ok,” he said.
Lt. Bourne shared a view: “It is sad, especially for the elderly, who like to have physical fellowship. But we can look at the options that the Internet offers, because you can still connect with loved ones, and it’s like they are right there with you.
I understand the challenges that our seniors face with technology.
Minister Angela added her expressions about the void that will come because of the restrictions: “I will miss the corporate worship.
It’s so nice to see folks, to gather, encourage each other and worship God together. Corporate Worship is a BIG experience!”
CONTACT: Carmen Barrett