THIS WEEK’S TOP NEWS STORIES
ALL JAMAICAN SCHOOLS TO CLOSE FOR TWO WEEKS
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that schools across the country will be closed for 14 days as a result of the coronavirus. He made the announcement during a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister on March 12, 2020. The closures will be in effect as of March 13, 2020. He plans to review this decision after a period of 10 days. Holness also announced that the Heart Trust ?NTA will be closed for 14 days as well over the same period as the schools.
VISA SERVCES AT U.S. EMBASSY SUSPENDED DUE TO VIRUS OUTBREAK
The United States Embassy in Kingston will not offer visa services in a decision to suspend these services because one of its employees has tested positive for the coronavirus. The employee had recently returned to work at the embassy after a trip to the United Kingdom. The embassy is working to sanitize its premises to prevent further spread of the virus and is joining with local health authorities to implement additional measures designed to control the spread of the virus.
THIS WEEK’S TOP CARIBBEAN NEWS
TOURISM IN CARIBBEAN FACES DOWNTURN FROM VIRUS CONCERNS
The impact of the coronavirus outbreak is having a major impact on tourism in the Caribbean. Measures instituted by national governments in the region have already resulted in the turning away of two huge cruise ships. Proprietors of small businesses are feeling the effects of fewer tourists and less tourist spending. As the Caribbean is heavily dependent on cruise ship visitors, it is especially hard hit by virus outbreaks and the subsequent Quarantines imposed on cruise liners in recent days as travelers are encouraged to stay home.
THIS WEEK’S TOP JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS
JAMAICA CLOSES ITS NEW YORK, LONDON, WASINGTON DC MISSIONS
In response to the spread of the coronavirus, which has been designated a worldwide pandemic, Jamaica has decided to close its mission and consul offices in New York Washington DC, and London. According to Jamaica’s Foreign Affairs Minister Kamina Johnson Smith. The New York Consulate General, which services the biggest Diaspora community, will close from March 16, 2020, to March 20,2020. The Minister also stated that the consular departments in Washington DC and in London will be closed during the same period. She noted the move represents a precautionary action and that the Jamaican government will monitor the situation and decide whether or not to extend the closures in the future. Meanwhile, she recommends that people use the available online resources for passport applications and other relevant needs.
THIS WEEK’S TOP BUSINESS NEWS
SANGSTER AIRPORT EXPERIENCES FIRST CANCELLED FLIGHTS DUE TO VIRUS OUTBREAK
The operator of Jamaica’s Sangster International Airport has decided to review the passenger forecast for the remaining portion of the 2020 season as a result of travel concerns related to the coronavirus outbreak. In particular, it will review those markets that contribute most of the travel traffic to Jamaica. As more countries see confirmed cases of the virus, fewer people are traveling, and airlines are cancelling flights. Sangster, the biggest airport in the Caribbean, experienced its first flight suspensions as Neon, an Italian carrier which operated two weekly flights to the airport, cancelled flights between February 28 and March 28.
THIS WEEK’S TOP ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
ORGANIZERS OF “DREAM WEEKEND” TAKE EVENT TO NEW YORK
The promoters of Dream Weekend” have decided to move the event from Negril in Jamaica to New York City. The event is scheduled for August 28 through 20, 2020, as party people in New York will get a chance to experience the popular staging in Brooklyn Heights. Carlos Philpotts of Dream Entertainment stated that the move was prompted by research conducted to determine the feasibility of expanding the event to New York. In-depth research is always conducted before new projects are put in motion, Philpotts said. The move is expected to create more awareness of the Dream Weekend brand and tap the interest of the largest Caribbean community in the United States.
THIS WEEK’S TOP SPORTS NEWS
WEST INDIES CRICKET LEGEND TO APPEAR AT FUNDRAISER
The legendary West Indies cricketer Colin Croft is slated to appear at a fundraiser at the Preston Caribbean Carnival the United Kingdom in April 2020. Croft, wo was a fast bowler for the West Indies team in the late 1970s and early 1970s, will also make a speech at the event. Croft remains the record holder for the best Test innings figures for the Windies. In 1982 he participated in a controversial rebel tour of South Africa during apartheid and was banned from international competition until 1989. He will discuss his reasons for the South African tour in the speech. Since his retirement, he has served as a commentator on cricket and appearing as an analyst for the BBC BBC’s Test Match Special and Sky Sports.