CAYMAN STEPS INTO SUMMER WITH LEVEL 2 'COVID UNLOCK'
Cayman takes a huge step towards returning to normal life as of this weekend.
From Sunday, June 21st, a huge swathe of the remaining restrictions will be removed as Grand Cayman moves to the anxiously-awaited Level Two (Mild Suppression).
That’s just one level before the Level 1 All Clear, although indications are that might still be some way off.
Despite that, the announcement of the Level 2 stage is widely welcomed both for its economic and social impact, while a keen eye is still being kept on the still ominous presence of COVID-19 in the community.
Cayman has recorded 193 cases of COVID-19, but no additional cases were recorded on Wednesday when Hon. Premier Alden McLaughlin announced that lockdown restrictions are being lifted on a wide range of businesses and social activities.
“We are continuing the plan to move to Level 2 Mild Suppression with effect from Sunday coming June 21st,” the Premier announced.
He said: “In practical terms that means that there will be some softening of restrictions, some starting of the 21st, some starting on the 5th of July and others on the 19th of July.”
JUNE 21st to JULY 4th
What this means is that from 4:30am on Sunday the 21st of June 2020, the hard curfew will come to an end. Also, from that date the shelter-in-place requirement will be lifted, and travel restrictions “to certain places on certain days based on their surnames” will also be removed.
However, social distancing will still be in force as will the requirement to wear a mask while indoors in public indoors where it's not possible to maintain the 2 meters (6 feet) social distance.
Stating that “I know this will be greeted with a lot of welcome,” the Premier went on to say that, “as of Sunday 21st there will no longer be a prohibition on persons visiting each other’s homes. This also means that domestic helper and caregivers will be allowed to return to work.”
He said in Grand Cayman gatherings of up to 25 persons will be allowed as is the case in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
This also applies to churches. Social distancing and other safety protocols in those settings will remain in place.
On the other hand, mass public gatherings such as carnivals and concerts, parties and festivals “will continue to banned on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac, regardless of the number of people involved,” Premier McLaughlin stated.
He did specify however that: “most establishments, institutions, businesses, organisations including churches, offices, cinemas, theatres, beauty salons, barbers, spas and masseuse services, and medical and dental offices (subject to approval from the HBC), will be able to fully operate but must observe the social distance requirements and enforce the wearing of masks.”
He said “these establishments are not subject to the social gathering restrictions of 25 persons maximum. They are only subject to requiring that the social distancing requirements are properly maintained and mask-wearing in enforced.”
While businesses and offices will be allowed to open, the Premier said that managers of these establishments, especially in the financial sector are encouraged to have their staff work to continue working remotely as far as is practicable.
For restaurants and bars, there are specific new measures for them from Sunday June 21st.
While tables are required to remain eight feet apart, there are no limitations on the number of persons who may sit at the table providing that they maintain the 6 feet (2 meters) separation.
Serving and eating at indoor counters is disallowed in a bar or restaurant.
The range of other measures being relaxed from June 21st are:
Restaurants and bars can now open during their normal hours with staff continuing to wear masks, but dancing and karaoke won’t be permitted.
Beach and maritime leisure activities are also back from Sunday, June 21st. But while access to public beaches is again allowed, beachgoers are advised to maintain social distancing and follow other safeguards on public gatherings which will remain in place.
In Grand Cayman, only 10 persons will be allowed per boat but the Sister Islands remain out of bounds for pleasure trips.
Also still out of bounds are Stingray City, Rum Point, Starfish Point and the sandbar.
Scuba diving is now permitted using personal gear as scuba and snorkel equipment, except tanks, that will not be available for rent.
Other restrictions being lifted from Sunday include; weddings and funerals where a maximum of 25 persons are allowed.
Exercising at any time is permissible once social distancing is observed, while persons of different households can once again use each other’s pools and hot tubs
Staycations are being permitted but under strict conditions when planning to go to the Sister Islands as air travel restrictions remain in place.
Anyone from Grand Cayman planning to travel to the Sister Islands by air must first notify the Medical Officer of Health, go into self-isolation for 14 days and be declared COVID-free before being allowed to proceed on their journey.
These measures will be in force until the 4th of July.
JULY 5th TO JULY 19th
A further series of steps easing the lockdown will be introduced from July 5th and will be in place until July 19th while officials continue to monitor the trend of COVID-19 in the community.
The opening of all education institutions and facilities – including camps and bible schools and preschools as well as sporting and social events. However, contact sports will not be allowed.
Restaurants and bars will be able to offer both indoor and outdoor services, with a restriction of six feet between tables. There will be no limits on the number of people at a table, plus the distance between those at a table decreases from six to three feet.
Front of house staff must continue to wear masks/cloth face coverings
In Grand Cayman, exercise in strata gyms and public gyms will be permitted.
The restrictions on travelling to the Sister Islands will remain in force.
JULY 19th to AUGUST 2nd
From July 19th through to August 2nd the plan calls for nighclubs to reopen, dancing and karaoke at bars and restaurants will be allowed, contact sports can be played again, and restrictions on pleasure boat activity will be lifted with access allowed to Stingray City, Starfish Point and Rum Point and sandbar.