The Cayman Islands Cayman has closed all but essential businesses as of 11.59 on Sunday 22nd March.
As the world reels from the omnipresent threat of Corona Virus (Covid 19) and countries take unprecedented measures to curb its spread, an order to cease business on the Island and other activities has been issued to bars; nightclubs; sports group meetings; gyms; spas; public and strata swimming pools; cinemas; theaters; galleries; playgrounds; tourist attractions; beauty salon’s; barber shops; tattoo parlors.
Gatherings of persons exceeding 50 individuals are also outlawed, with penalties of 6 months in prison or CI$1,000 in fines to be levied for those who do not comply.
Seated dining at any venue serving food or drink is also not permitted during the business ‘blackout’ amid fears of possible widespread transmission of the virus in the community.
The measures come on the heels of the Cayman Islands government also stopping the entry of all overseas visitors via flights at the Owen Roberts International Airport and a 60 day stoppage of all cruise ships.
Over the past few days the government has only allowed Caymanian students to return from studies overseas in hard hit places such as the United Kingdom.
Several empty flights coming into Grand Cayman on Saturday 21st March were only making ‘runs’ to take persons off the Island, according to officials.
Measures affecting business as usual in the British Overseas Territory to take effect during the late hours of Sunday night are especially timely, as a student in one of the isolation facilities provided by the Government was taken to the Cayman Islands Hospital for assessment on Saturday evening (21st March).
The student was taken to hospital by ambulance and now remains in isolation.
“All medical staff and vehicles in contact with the student have taken necessary precautions to prevent onward transmission of any infectious condition. Appropriate contact tracing will take place in any case deemed necessary,” according to a statement issued via Public Health.
All students and residents arriving home this week have been asked to self-isolate and are being asked to alert Public Health authorities immediately if they develop any symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
The students at the isolation facility were screened prior to departure from the airport and they are required to be in regular contact with medical professionals while they remain in isolation.
Travelers returning home from overseas were also asked to not travel to the Sister Islands, where there is a large population of elderly persons whom may be particularly susceptible to the virus’ symptoms.