Prime Minister Andrew Holness, says the Government is making every effort to ensure that the school environment is as safe as possible for students and teachers.
The Prime Minister implored parents and guardians to closely monitor their children and to keep them at home if there is any indication that they are not well.
“This is the only way we will be able to keep the infection rate down in our schools,” he said.
The Prime Minister was speaking during the sitting of the House of Representatives on January 11, where he expressed pleasure at the resumption of face-to-face classes in most of the country’s schools.
He noted that the learning loss to the nation’s children due to the pandemic is incalculable, and the Government cannot afford to keep them out of school any longer.
“We recognise that the return to face-to-face schooling is not without risks,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister noted that the Government will continue to work on providing citizens with knowledge through public education and increase the availability and accessibility of vaccines, so that persons can protect themselves.
“Whether or not they do so is ultimately a matter of personal choice. The Government of Jamaica will be taking steps to ensure that we can secure and guarantee the continued operation and provision of government services.
We have indicated long ago that we will put in place measures for testing and for requiring vaccinations for public-sector workers,” Mr. Holness said.
He also reiterated the importance of getting the economy back on track, noting that “we cannot allow ourselves to be defeated by the pandemic, we cannot afford another lockdown, we cannot afford tighter curfew hours and we must learn to live with this virus”.
“I urge all Jamaicans to make the responsible choice to keep yourselves and your families and your loved ones safe. Get vaccinated, strengthen your immune system, follow the protocols, and let us all learn to live with this virus. That is the only way we will defeat it,” he emphasised.