Minister with Responsibility for Information, Telecommunications and Special Projects, Hon. Daryl Vaz, has advised that, as of today, all residents in communities affected by the ongoing State of Emergency are free to go about their lawful business.
“Based on a meeting which took place this morning, the Government has been advised that all residents in the affected areas – Tivoli Gardens, Denham Town and surrounding areas – will be allowed to leave their communities and carry out their lawful business, as of this afternoon,” the Minister told a press conference at the Hilton Kingston Hotel today (May 27).
He noted, however, that once a procedure was taking place under the State of Emergency, movement can be restricted, but that would be limited to the areas of operation.
“I want to reiterate to the public of Jamaica that, outside of police/military operations, the status quo remains in terms of the ability for law-abiding citizens to go about their lawful business without any restriction, unless otherwise notified by the joint military/police,” he said.
Colonel Rocky Meade of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) explained that the movement of individuals will be determined by the particular sector that the individual lives in, and the assessment by the Ground Commander.
“We’ve always, from the start of the operation once the most intensive firefight subsided, facilitated the movements of persons (and) children sitting exams,” Colonel Meade explained.
He said that a number of people, including persons who were ill, had to be facilitated for various reasons.
“All that we did, was just to ensure that no contraband would be removed from the community and then we facilitated them and so, depending on which sector they are in and what’s transpiring there, the Ground Commander will determine how best to facilitate the movement of residents in and out,” he added.
Meanwhile, residents are being reminded that there are still serious concerns about safety and security in the communities, as criminal elements continue to fire at members of the security forces.
They are also advised to exercise caution in relation to moving around the communities, in order to avoid coming into contact with barricades and strange objects which may be dangerous.
Parents are asked not to allow children to move around unsupervised. In the event of an explosion, citizens are advised to go indoors.
Residents can call the police to report any suspicious objects or security concerns at 119 and 946-1248.