COVID-19

On 30 January 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced that the COVID-19 outbreak was a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. As of 4 March 2020, cases of COVID-19 have been reported in over 120 countries, including Jamaica.

 

Here For You Initiative

We have put in place a programme to return $50 Million to all our taxi and private car customers, including our Diamond Max customers who are over 60 years old. We will communicate with individual customers on how you will receive the benefit – you won’t have to lift a finger.

Everything we do is for you!

 

Doing business with BCIC

The best way to prevent the spread of the virus is to limit the possibility of infection through close contact with others.  We strongly encourage our customers to make use of our online services.

 

You may:

  • Get a quote and buy online here
    • It’s easy to get a quote for your private car insurance.  Choose from our comprehensive, third party fire and theft or third party policies.  You may even arrange for financing options with EasyPay with between 4 or 9 monthly instalments to pay. Buy using your Visa or Mastercard credit card or Mastercard debit card.  It’s an easy and secure way to buy your insurance online!
  • Pay your premium here. Click here for video tutorials on how to pay online.
    • Use our quick pay feature to pay your premium online using your Visa or Mastercard credit card or Mastercard debit card.  All you need is your policy number to get started.
  • Report a Claim here
    • Simply have the following details:
      • Policy information
      • Date of incident
      • Location of incident

And you’re all set!

 

To renew your insurance, simply call or WhatsApp:

  • (876) 440-7602
  • (876) 578-1267
  • (876) 578-1266
  • (876) 578-1264

or email us at customersolutions@bcicjamaica.com. We have also placed a drop box in all our branches where you may leave cheques along with your renewal notice. We will renew your policy and email or mail the document and the receipt.

We will provide all your required documents such as insurance certificates etc. via email and accept any documents you may need to send to us via email or WhatsApp.  We also have online chat enabled should you need to chat to a BCIC representative.

For those customers who pay by cash, you also have the option of paying your BCIC premium through the major online banking platforms or by visiting any Paymaster location islandwide. 

If you are unable to access the virtual methods of doing business with us we must insist that at-risk members of the community, those individuals who have travelled to any of the countries on the restricted list within the last two weeks, and any individual who is currently showing symptoms refrain from visiting BCIC’s branches or offices. Check out the FAQs below on what symptoms to look out for.

BCIC considers the health and wellbeing of our customers and team members our highest priority. We have gathered resources and additional information to answer your questions about COVID-19 and the measures we have in place.  This data has been sourced from the Ministry of Health and Wellness and leading experts in epidemiology and public health such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centres for Disease Control (CDC).

Here are links to a few helpful and credible sources of information on the disease:

World Health Organisation (WHO)

WHO has launched a dedicated WhatsApp messaging service to provide the latest news and information on coronavirus including details on symptoms and how people can protect themselves and others. It also provides the latest situation reports and numbers in real-time.

The service can be accessed by clicking this link that opens a conversation on WhatsApp.  Users may also add WHO (+41 79 893 18 92) to their contacts. Then simply type “hi” to activate the conversation, prompting a menu of options that can help answer their questions about COVID-19.

Centres for Disease Control (CDC)

Ministry of Health and Wellness

Here For You FAQs

WHAT IS THE HERE FOR YOU INITIATIVE?

As the government curfew and other measures intended to stop the spread of COVID-19 affect the lives and livelihoods of our customers, the measures also mean fewer accidents. BCIC is automatically refunding over $50 Million in insurance premiums or up to 40% of our customers’ premiums for the month of April to Private motor, Public Passenger Vehicle (PPV) and Diamond Max policyholders. 

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO BENEFIT FROM THE FOR YOU INITIATIVE?

BCIC customers who had a Private motor, Public Passenger Vehicle (PPV) and Diamond Max policy in force during the month of April will be eligible.

HOW CAN I USE MY CREDIT?

You may use your credit upon your next transaction with us.

DOES THE HERE FOR YOU INITIATIVE APPLY TO ME IF I HAVE ALREADY PAID MY PREMIUM IN FULL?

Yes, customers who have paid their premium in full are eligible. Customers will receive the credit at their next transaction with us. For example, when you come to us to renew your insurance, the credit will be deducted from the amount you will be asked to pay for your renewal.

COVID FAQs

WHAT ARE THE MEASURES THE GOVERNMENT HAS PUT IN PLACE?

Summary of Measures with effect Monday, May 11:

  • The national daily curfew remains in place but will be adjusted as of Wednesday,  May 13. The new hours are from 8 PM to 5 AM until Sunday, May 24. 
  • Churches will be allowed to resume services as at May 16 but must observe the following:
    • Physical Distancing, Wearing masks in church, Sanitisation program, Prohibition of choir assembly, and Air conditioning unit must be turned off.
    • Churches will be required to do temperature checks on persons entering the building
  • For two weeks, as of May 19, Bars will be allowed to open from 11 AM but must be closed during curfew hours and observe the following:
    • Physical distancing, Sanitation, prohibition of group games (Dominoes, etc.), tables or stools inside the bar, only five (5) persons (including the bartender) allowed in the bar at once, Wearing of face masks and no events promoting social gathering.
  • The curfew period for the Labour Day Holiday, which will be observed on Monday, May 25, will start on Sunday, May 24 from 3 PM to Monday, May 25 at 8 AM.
    • On Labour Day, Monday, May 25, the curfew will be in place from 3 PM to Tuesday, May 26 at 5 AM.
    • On Tuesday, May 26, the curfew will again be adjusted to 9 PM to 5 AM daily until Sunday, May 31.
  • Persons are advised to observe the measures under the Disaster Risk Management Act, which remain in force until May 31, including:
    • Observing the nightly islandwide curfew of 6 PM to 6 AM each day
    • Operation of businesses between 8:00 AM and 4 PM
    • Wearing masks in public
    • Social distancing of 6 feet apart
    • Stay-at-home if over the age of 65
    • Work from home for non-essential services
    • Gathering should not exceed more than 10 persons
  • Barbershops, hairdressing salons, waterways, rivers and beaches will remain closed until May 31.

Summary of Measures with effect Monday, May 4:

  • The new daily curfew remains in place from Wednesday 22 of April 2020 at 6 PM and ends on Wednesday the 6th of May 2020 at 6:00 AM. The curfew hours are from 6 PM to 6 AM.
  • Persons are advised to observe the measures under the Disaster Risk Management Act, which remain in force until May 31, including:
    • Observing the nightly islandwide curfew of 6 PM to 6 AM each day
    • Operation of businesses between 8:00 AM and 4 PM
    • Wearing masks in public
    • Social distancing of 6 feet apart
    • Stay-at-home if over the age of 65
    • Work from home for non-essential services
    • Gathering should not exceed more than 10 persons
  • Barbershops, hairdressing salons, waterways, rivers and beaches will remain closed until May 31.

Summary of Measures with effect Monday, April 30:

  • The new daily curfew remains in place from Wednesday 22 of April 2020 at 6 PM and ends on Wednesday the 6th of May 2020 at 6:00 AM. The curfew hours are from 6 PM to 6 AM
  • The 24- hour curfew of St Catherine has been lifted effective Friday, May 1, 2020.
  • Movement in the parish is no longer restricted, however, persons are advised to revert to the measures under the Disaster Risk Management Act with outlines measures including:
    • Observing the nightly islandwide curfew of 6 PM to 6 AM each day
    • Wearing masks in public
    • Social distancing of 6 feet apart
    • Stay-at-home if over the age of 65
    • Work from home for non-essential services

Summary of Measures with effect Monday, April 27:

  • The new daily curfew remains in place from Wednesday 22 of April 2020 at 6 PM and ends on Wednesday the 6th of May 2020 at 6:00 AM. The new curfew hours are from 6 PM to 6 AM
  • The 24- hour curfew of St Catherine has been extended by an additional 3 days, commencing at 6:00 AM on Tuesday, April 28 and ending at 6:00 AM on Friday, May 1, 2020. 
  • Movement in the parish will only be permitted to pursue essential activities i.e. buy food and medicine or tend to other medical needs. The alphabetical classification has been removed and the number of shopping days increased.
  • Four days, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, will be designated to pursue essential activities from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. 
  • The wearing of masks by all persons in a public space announced on 22 April remains mandatory for another 7 days. 
  • Essential workers within the lock-down zone will be allowed in and out, however, they must present their IDs and submit to temperature checks at checkpoints.

Summary of Measures with effect Wednesday, April 22:

  • The all-island curfew from 9 PM- 5 AM expires on April 22, 2020, at 5 AM
  • The new daily curfew starts on Wednesday the 22 of April 2020 at 6 PM and ends on Wednesday the 6th of May 2020 at 6:00 AM. The new curfew hours are from 6 PM to 6 AM
  • The Work-From-Home Order has been extended for a further 14 days. Working hours are now from 8 AM to 4 PM. Commuting hours are now 6 AM to 8 AM and 4 PM – 6 PM
  • Public Transportation by JUTC, Montego Bay Metro and all licensed carriers can operate from 5 AM to 7 PM, with the hour before 6 AM and the hour after 6 PM to be used as their personal commuting time; not for transporting passengers
  • Markets islandwide will now be open every day from 6 AM to 4 PM, except for Sundays when they will be closed
  • Educational institutions are to remain closed up to the 31st of May 2020. Education will continue remotely via online platforms
  • The prohibition on gatherings of over 10 persons is extended for a further fourteen days.
  • The minimum distance for physical/social distancing is now 6ft.
  • For the next fourteen days, the wearing of masks by all persons in public spaces is now mandatory
  • Our borders will remain closed up to May 31 2020, with controlled re-entry of Jamaicans, subject to the established protocols
  • All BPOs are to close for 14 days effective Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Summary of Measures with effect Wednesday, April 15:

  • The all-island curfew remains in place and between the hours of 9 PM  and 5 AM
  • There will be a total lockdown of the parish of St Catherine from Wednesday, April 15 at 5 AM to 5 AM Wednesday, April 22.
  • Movement in the parish will only be permitted to pursue essential activities i.e. buy food and medicine or tend to other medical needs. There is no other reason to be on the road for residents of St. Catherine.
  • Two days, Wednesday and Saturday, will be designated to pursue essential activities. These are Wednesday, April 15 and Saturday, April 18.
    • For those under 65 years old, on Wednesday and Saturday, the following times are designated to pursue essential activities by preferably one person per household, with ID:
      • Persons with surnames A-M, between 10:00 AM and 1:30 PM
      • Persons with surnames N-Z, between 1:30 and 5:00 PM
    • Persons who are pregnant, over the age of 65 years old or disabled may pursue essential activities on Wednesday and Saturday between 8 A and 10 AM
  • All persons in public spaces MUST:
    • carry identification: a government-issued ID, (passport, drivers licence or voters ID), picture IDs issued by government ministries, departments and agencies, registered university IDs.
    • wear a mask covering the nose and mouth.
  • Essential workers within the lock-down zone will be allowed in and out, however, they must present their IDs and submit to temperature checks at checkpoints.

Summary of Measures with effect Friday, April 3:

  • The Government of Jamaica will extend the period of closure of our border to incoming passenger traffic for a further 14 days
  • In keeping with the Stay In Place Order, gas stations will not be allowed to remain open outside the hours of 6:00 am to 8:00 PM
  • The Corn Piece Settlement community in Clarendon will remain under quarantine for a further 14 days
  • Persons who came into Jamaica on or after March 18th 2020, are urged to contact the Ministry of Health

Summary of Measures with effect Wednesday, April 1:

  • Effective April 1, 2020, from 8:00 pm to 6:00 am daily, there will be an all-island curfew. The curfew will run for 7 days, ending at 6:00 am on April 8, 2020.
  • From Sunday to Wednesday, the opening hours of markets will be from 6:00 am - 2:00 pm
  • From Thursday to Saturday, the opening hours of markets will be from 6:00 am - 6:00 pm

Summary of Measures with effect Wednesday, March 18:  

  • As of the 18th of March, all non-essential work should be done from home. This applies to the Public and Private Sector.
  • No gatherings of over 20 persons in any public space.
    • The recommendation is no gatherings at all, but if you do gather you MUST maintain the required 3-4 feet apart.
    • Limit funerals, weddings and church services
  • Self-quarantine of persons travelling into Jamaica from countries with local transmission for 14 days
  • Hospital visits are reduced to one visitor once per day
  • Outpatient clinics in hospitals will be scaled down
  • Markets, supermarkets, corner shops, gas stations and pharmacies remain open because of their importance in daily life.
    • Markets will be open from 6 AM- 2 PM. 
  • The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) and the Montego Bay Metro will only transport passengers seated. 
  • Taxi operators are required to transport one less passenger than they are licensed to carry.
  • Restrictions placed on the opening of bars, nightclubs and other entertainment establishments.

Failure to comply with the orders as outlined makes a person liable to a fine not exceeding JMD 1 million and imprisonment not exceeding 12 months.  

WHO IS EXEMPTED FROM THE NIGHTLY CURFEW BEGINNING APRIL 1?

Exempted individuals are:

  • Members of the Houses of Parliament and persons employed to the Houses of Parliament
  • Permanent Secretaries
  • Any Member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force or the Jamaica Defence Force
  • Any person employed in a service concerning the provision of health, water, electricity, public works, sanitation, firefighting, civil aviation or telecommunications
  • Veterinary surgeons, licensed under the Veterinary Act
  • Immigration Officers and Customs Officers
  • Correctional services officers
  • Persons employed in the transportation of agricultural produce or livestock or employed in the poultry industry (including catching crew, poultry processing plant staff and the staff of the feed mills)
  • Persons employed in the sugarcane industry
  • Persons employed to tourist establishments as defined by the Public Health (Tourist Establishments) Regulations, 2000
  • Persons employed in services connected with oil-refining and with the loading, distribution, transportation or retail of petroleum fuel, liquefied natural gas or any renewable energy source
  • Persons employed in services connected with the loading and unloading of ships and with the storage and delivery of goods at, or from, docks, wharves and warehouses operated in connection with docks or wharves
  • Persons employed in the provision of public transportation by the Jamaican Urban Transit Company or the Montego Bay Metro Company Limited
  • The Judiciary and persons employed to the courts
  • Persons employed to the media (such as journalists, television or radio presenters, camera operators, announcers, engineers, technicians and newspaper delivery personnel)
  • Persons employed to businesses providing private security
  • Persons employed to the Jamaica Printing Services Limited
  • Persons employed to the Toll Authority established under the Toll Roads Act
  • Persons employed to courier services
  • Persons employed in the bauxite or alumina industries
  • Persons authorised in writing by the Director-General of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM)
  • Persons employed in any service or activity designated in writing by the Minister with responsibility for national security, with the approval of the Cabinet, as an exempt service or activity
WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe respiratory diseases. It is spread from person to person mainly through the droplets produced when an infected person speaks, coughs or sneezes - just like the common cold and flu.

Source: Ministry of Health

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with a cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing may have COVID-19. Persons may also have at least two of the following symptoms: Fever, Chills, Repeated shaking with chills, Muscle pain, Headache, Sore throat, or New loss of taste or smell. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Children have similar symptoms to adults and generally have mild illness.

N.B. This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

HOW DOES COVID-19 SPREAD?

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.

Source: World Health Organisation

WHAT CAN I DO TO PROTECT MYSELF AND PREVENT THE SPREAD OF DISEASE?

You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:

  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
    Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
  • Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
    Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
    Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
  • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
    Why? Droplets spread the virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, Call 888 ONE LOVE (663-5683) immediately!
    Why? Calling the Ministry of Health’s hotline will give you updated information about the right health facility to go to should you need to. This will also protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.

Source: World Health Organisation and the Ministry of Health

HOW TO WASH HANDS?

HOW TO HANDRUB?
  • Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).
  • Rub your hands together.
  • Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry. This should take around 20 seconds.

Source: Centres for Disease Control

WHEN TO WASH HANDS?
  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage

Source: Centres for Disease Control

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS IMPOSED & WHAT THIS MEANS?
  •  China
  • Italy
  • South Korea
  • Singapore
  • Iran
  • Spain
  • France
  • Germany

 

The Ministry of Health and Wellness does not recommend non-essential travel at this time. If you do travel to any of the countries on the restriction list within 14 days of entering Jamaica you will be quarantined at either a government facility or in-home depending on your risk assessment

 

Source: Ministry of Health

WHAT TO DO IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE BEEN EXPOSED OR ARE EXPERIENCING SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS?

Call 888 ONE LOVE (663-5683) immediately!

  • Stay at home
  • Do not go to work, school or any public place
  • Do not use public transport
  • Avoid visitors to your home

You may need to do this for up to 14 days to reduce the spread of the infection.

SHOULD I WORRY ABOUT COVID-19?

Illness due to COVID-19 infection is generally mild, especially for children and young adults. However, it can cause serious illness: about 1 in every 5 people who catch it need hospital care. It is therefore quite normal for people to worry about how the COVID-19 outbreak will affect them and their loved ones.

We can channel our concerns into actions to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities. First and foremost among these actions is regular and thorough hand-washing and good respiratory hygiene. Secondly, keep informed and follow the advice of the Ministry of Health and Wellness

Source: World Health Organisation and the Ministry of Health

SHOULD I WEAR A MASK TO PROTECT MYSELF FROM COVID-19?

The CDC recommends wearing cloth masks/face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies).

CDC also advises the use of simple cloth masks/face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth masks/face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional way to prevent the spread of the disease.

Cloth masks/face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

The cloth masks/face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Source: Centres for Disease Control 

HOW DO I CLEAN/SANITIZE A CLOTH MASK/FACE COVERING AND HOW OFTEN SHOULD I CLEAN IT?

A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering.

They should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use.

Source: Centres for Disease Control

HOW DO I WEAR A CLOTH MASK/FACE COVERING?

Cloth face coverings should:

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include multiple layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape
HOW TO PUT ON, USE, TAKE OFF AND DISPOSE OF A MASK?
  • Before putting on a mask, wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based rub
  • Cover your mouth and nose with the mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask
  • Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub
  • Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks

Source: World Health Organisation

IF I HAD COVID AND HAVE BEEN DISCHARGED FROM THE HOSPITAL DO I HAVE TO WEAR A MASK?

Persons who have COVID-19, and have been discharged from the hospital should wear a mask for two weeks after they have been released.

Source: Ministry of Health and Wellness 

HOW LONG IS THE INCUBATION PERIOD FOR COVID-19?

The “incubation period” means the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease. Most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1-14 days, most commonly around five days. These estimates will be updated as more data become available.

 

Source: World Health Organisation

HOW LONG DOES THE VIRUS SURVIVE ON SURFACES?

It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).

If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.

Source: World Health Organisation



WILL WEARING GLOVES PROTECT ME FROM CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?

The Centres for Disease Control (CDC) has made no recommendation that the general public should wear disposable gloves to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The CDC does recommend that people wear disposable gloves:

  • when caring for someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, particularly when handling their laundry and when coming into contact with bodily fluids
  • when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces  

Gloves should be discarded after each use and hands should be washed immediately after gloves are removed.

Source: Centres for Disease Control

CAN SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN QUARANTINED FOR COVID-19 SPREAD THE ILLNESS TO OTHERS?

Quarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease, but have not developed illness (symptoms), from others who have not been exposed, in order to prevent the possible spread of that disease. Quarantine is usually established for the incubation period of the communicable disease, which is the span of time during which people have developed illness after exposure. For COVID-19, the period of quarantine is 14 days from the last date of exposure, because 14 days is the longest incubation period seen for similar coronaviruses. Someone who has been released from COVID-19 quarantine is not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others because they have not developed illness during the incubation period.

Source: Centres for Disease Control 
 
WHO IS AT HIGHER RISK?
Some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. High-risk individuals are:
  • Older adults
  • People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Lung disease
Source: Centres for Disease Control