The ceremonial opening of parliament took place on Thursday, February 18 at the George William Gordon House in Down Town Kingston; it was a day of reflection, focusing on Jamaica’s new reality, and the new normal given the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event is usually filled with pomp and the usual glitz and sea of political supporters -in colours aligned to each party; however, this was never the case. It was hard not to miss the soldiers parading with an added feature to their uniforms, masks. Instead of the usual group walking and waving, a few MPs were maintaining social distancing and observing other protocols at the entrance of the House.
Last year, Duke Street was buzzing with supporters of both political parties who often complain to the police officers about barrier placement; this time around, the supporters were urged to stay home.
The media wore their protective gear to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, COVID-19. Students from the St, George’s Primary school would have lined the corridors, cheering and greeting the Members of Parliament, however, the pandemic has forced the closure of schools.
Senators and MPs alike gave their thoughts on the proceedings surrounding the Ceremonial Opening of Parliament, watch the full report here: