EASED RESTRICTIONS FOR THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND AHEAD OF NEW LEVEL 3
The Cayman Islands is now moving to a new phase of easing its stringent lockdown provisions with further relaxations starting from this weekend and a new Level 3 (Moderate Suppression) taking effect next week, down from Level 4 (High Suppression).
There is also some respite across the long Discovery Day holiday weekend although most of the lockdown measures under Level 4 will however remain in place.
Hon. Premier Alden McLaughlin announced that from May 19th for an 18-day period until June 2nd the new Level 3 status would also see the re-introduction of a range of further business activities.
Those include the construction, development and related sectors, hardware stores, garages, boat maintenance and car washes among others.
HOLIDAY WEEKEND RELAXATIONS
With the long Discovery Day bank holiday weekend, the Sunday all-day hard curfew is being relaxed with allowances for an extended two-hour exercise period including limited access to public beaches.
It’s one of a series of measures announced by Police Commissioner Derek Byrne as he detailed the new provisions which will be in force for the next 18 days.
These include some adjustments to the hard curfew and shelter-in-place place soft curfew systems mainly affecting access to the beaches, fishing and exercising.
It has been stressed that in order to ensure that beaches are not overcrowded the alphabetical system will be used.
Social distancing is still to be observed with a maximum of two adults assembling together.
While exercise is permitted activities such as picnicking, paddle boarding, and jet ski riding among others will remain prohibited.
Particularly welcome is news that fishing is once again allowed on the main island as is the case for the Sister Islands, but under restrictions of two persons only per boat.
Some stretches of water remain out of bounds namely Star Fish Point, Rum Point and the Sandbar.
STEP DOWN TO LEVEL 3 NEXT WEEK
And with Cayman now moving to the new Level 3 status from next Tuesday Premier McLaughlin, said that a system of prioritising which construction companies will be allowed to restart operations in being put in place.
This will include a process of testing people now coming back into the workforce with an initial target of 3,200 tests targeted.
The new stepped-down level also means that public transportation will start running again on condition that they operate at only 50% capacity with passengers required to wear masks.
The mandatory wearing of masks is becoming a prominent feature of Cayman’s ‘new normal’ and is also applicable indoors in public establishments.
Plans also call for a further gradual reopening of the economy over the next few weeks with a target of around 10,000 test results and allowing other business activity to start up again from around the first week of June.
TESTING IS WORKING
Meanwhile, while it might not be a target to look forward to, as of Friday Cayman was just 6 cases away from a milestone 100 positive COVID-19 cases.
In giving his daily update on the virus in the territory on Friday, Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee reported that to date there have been 94 confirmed cases of COVID-19 resulting from one new positive case.
There were 558 tests carried out in the past 24 hours with 486 done by the Health Services Authority (HSA) and 72 by Doctors Hospital. Nine were symptomatic and 28 asymptomatic.
54 persons in all have now fully recovered from the disease.
There are currently 59 persons in government-operated isolation facilities and a further 104 self-isolating.
There are currently no hospitalisations from the disease.
With the only positive result open Friday resulting from travelling along with six of the seven cases the previous day, it is seen as an indication that Cayman might have past the peak in community transmission.
His Excellency, Governor Martyn Roper updated on Friday that cayman has not moved up the global rankings of testing being 10th in the world for per capita.
On the broad issue of testing and reopening the economy on a phased basis, Premer McLaughlin said there was a target of around 10,00 tests.
He also admonished: “Dead people don’t make good customers or clients, and sick people don’t make good workers.”
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