Monday, September 19, the National Day of Mourning for Her Majesty, The Queen, will not be observed as a public holiday in Jamaica.
“It is not a discussion or a contemplation at this time, and I would have to be guided otherwise for a national holiday to be declared for this matter,” Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) with Responsibility for Information, Robert Morgan, said.
He was speaking during Tuesday’s (September 13) sitting of the House of Representatives.
The Minister was responding to questions posed by Leader of Opposition Business, Phillip Paulwell, who sought clarification on a document that was tabled in the Lower House detailing activities during the period of mourning, being observed from September 8 to 19.
“This document… is pretty much a general understanding of what is to take place during the period. When an incident, as what has taken place, happens, there is a standard operating procedure that is a part of the protocols. Some are optional, and some are pretty much standard,” Morgan said.
He added that the Government then has to decide which aspect of the process to follow, “based on the context of our society and what are our imperatives.”
“This is the standard operating procedure. But the Government makes decisions, over time, as to which aspect it will follow. But this is a very good guide, generally, to members of the public and other members as to how things should be done or could be done,” the Minister said.
Meanwhile, Morgan noted that mourning procedures apply largely to the Government, Ministries, Departments, and Agencies.
Accordingly, no celebratory activities should take place within the public sector during this period.
“For clarity, members of the public who wish to partake in the period of mourning may choose to act with constraint during this period. However, private events are not prohibited. Citizens may go about their normal affairs,” Minister Morgan informed.
Governor General, His Excellency,. Sir Patrick Allen, and Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, will attend the State Funeral for The Queen, at Westminster Abbey in London, on September 19.