Jamaica Beaches and Rivers now opened

Jamaica beaches and rivers are now opened to the public.

The opening took effect on Sunday, June 7, seeing persons being able to visit public beaches licensed under the Beach Control Act during the operating hours from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 pm and rivers from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie, said the relaxation of the restrictions on beaches and rivers will remain in place for 14 days after which there will be a review.

He was speaking at a digital press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister on June 5.

“We are emphasising a family-oriented grouping in the beach setting. We would like to see families and groups consisting of two persons gathering within a certain distance as prescribed in the order. No more than 10 persons at any time shall gather in any one area of the beach,” he said.

He noted that swimming and jogging are the only activities which will be allowed at this time.

“So, there shall be no beach parties…we are restricting these activities which also include football, volleyball, dominoes,” he informed.

Minister McKenzie added that vendors will not be permitted to walk the beach with items for sale. “The operators of the beach must make the necessary arrangements for persons, who want to provide that service,” he said.

Operators will not be permitted to provide any form of seating, however, persons visiting the beach are allowed to take their personal chairs.

“We will be monitoring the operation of the beaches to ensure we get compliance within the order,” Minister McKenzie said, while urging operators to adhere to the protocols established by the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

He noted the same guidelines and conditions apply to rivers. “There shall be no river parties,” he said.

McKenzie encouraged persons to adhere to the safety measures that have been implemented by the Ministry of Health and Wellness including social distancing and the wearing of masks.

Beaches and water attractions were closed in April as the Government moved to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the island.

All water attractions, sports bars, places of amusement, and nightclubs will remain closed.