Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ administration confirmed that Jamaica will open the polling stations tomorrow amidst a steady increase of COVID-19 cases.
Jamaica to Lift States of Emergency Ahead of Elections
Holness called for election three weeks ago and justified his decision by stating that citizens need a new government despite the global health crisis.
People sick with COVID-19 can vote between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. To do so, however, they must wear a mask, face shield, gloves, and disposable gown.
An hour later, at 6 p.m. the people in quarantine for being suspicious cases and confirmed patients' contacts will also be able to vote.
“We would do nothing to endanger people's lives. The pandemic will only end when there is a safe and widely distributed vaccine,” Holness said.
The Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) informed that citizens will elect 63 parliamentarians. In this new electoral competition, the largest and most powerful organizations are the ruling Jamaica Labor Party (JPL) and the opposition National People's Party (PNP).
This electoral process is marked by the pandemic's impact on the country's economy. As of Wednesday morning, Jamaica had reported 2,683 COVID-19 cases and 24 deaths.