Thu | Aug 5, 2021

Use billboards to push COVID-19 safety, says MoBay Chamber

Published:Monday | March 23, 2020 | 12:20 AM

The Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry is calling for local digital billboard operators to make space available for public-service announcements to assist in the fight against COVID-19.

The chamber said that it is concerned that some people are not adhering to social-distancing guidelines promulgated by the Government and urged that public education be ramped up.

“We are concerned about the relaxed and almost carefree approach to the ever-present danger of COVID-19 by some as it relates to the guidelines that are clearly set out by the Ministry of Health and Wellness,” said Chamber President Janet Silvera.

“It is clear that some persons are not convinced about the severity of this disease, and so we need as many business operators as possible to join in this national effort to get the word out.”

The chamber is urging that billboard operators who are operating in Montego Bay offer 15- to 30-second ads, every 15 minutes, highlighting health and safety guidelines relating to the novel coronavirus.

Silvera said that persons need to be more cognizant of exactly what social distancing means, noting that what is currently taking place is both risky and disturbingly frightening.

“The indiscipline we are seeing regarding non-compliance is a clear indication that many are not taking this crisis seriously enough and which perhaps might require stricter enforcement measures such as curfews,” she added.

ZERO-TOLERANCE APPROACH

The business lobby said that it has noticed that even though fast-food stores, banks, and other establishments have sought to implement social distancing of three feet apart, customers have been amassing outside while waiting to enter buildings.

Silvera called for the security forces to ensure that there is a zero-tolerance approach to the health and safety guidelines.

“We are also seeing where some business places are not taking the necessary steps such as providing hand sanitisation for customers and staff. This cannot be business as usual … ,” she said.

Jamaica has recorded 19 cases of coronavirus infection and one death.