House approves temporary extended time for parties

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House approves temporary extended time for parties

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The House of Representatives last night agreed to temporary measures which will allow for extended periods for parties during the week and on week-ends.

According to the Bill, which temporarily amends the Noise Abatement Act up to January 31, when this period of adjustment ends, the police can allow parties which currently have to end at midnight on week days to go on until 2:00 amand on weekends a new closing time has been extended from 2:00 am to 4:00 am.

However, parties can go on until 6:00 am if there are no complaints from residents about disturbance. The police will continue to monitor the parties, and respond to calls from citizens who are affected by high decibels, as well as other matters considered necessary for the welfare of the community.

Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang, who piloted the Bill noted that the changes will provide an interim solution to the issues associated with the enforcement of the Night Abatement Act, which has been a source of controversy, especially since the emergence of the States of Emergency.

Dr Chang noted that measures will be active pending a process of consultations with stakeholders in the entertainment industry, to arrive at a lasting solution to the issues.

The issue has arisen each the Parliament debates the effect on vendors and party hosts by the need to close earlier. The Government had promised to make a temporary adjustment over the Christmas period while seeking a permanent solution to the problem.

The move was supported by Opposition spokesman on National Security, Fitz Jackson, and Opposition backbencher Dwayne Vaz, as well as Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond McKenzie, who promised to bring other amendments to the Act in the near future.

Balford Henry

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