Noting that it’s now been two weeks since all curfews have been ended under the current Level 2 COVID Suppression, the government on Friday prepared Cayman for phase two which comes into effect this weekend.
Another set of restrictions are being lifted from this Sunday July 5th enabling further business and social activities as life on the islands slowly returns to normal.
“While for the time being, we remain at Level 2 Minimum Suppression, I’m very comfortable moving to the next re-opening changes that will come into effect this coming Sunday,” Hon. Premier Alden McClaughlin announced on Friday.
From Sunday, restaurants and bars will be able to offer both indoor and outdoor services but will need to have a space of six feet between tables.
There will be no limits on how many patrons are allowed to sit together but front-of-house staff must continue to wear masks/cloth face coverings.
In Grand Cayman, exercising in strata and public gyms is permitted from Sunday.
All education institutions and facilities, including camps, bible schools and preschools, can restart their activities from Sunday July 5th. That includes sports and social events although contact sports are not allowed at this stage.
Persons wishing to travel from Grand Cayman to the Sister Islands are however still required to get clearance from the Medical Officer of Health and be tested COVID-free.
It’s another significant stride on the road back to normal for the territory with further rolling back of restrictions planned for the period July 19th through to August 2nd.
Those will entail entertainment and sports activities; with nightclubs opening again, dancing and karaoke at bars and restaurants being permitted and contact sports resuming.
Restrictions will also be lifted on boat trips to popular spots such as the sandbar, Stingray City, Starfish Point and Rum Point with up to 10 persons allowed.
In the meantime, the emphasis continues on testing for the coronavirus.
Cayman remains in the top three of countries globally with a high testing rate for COVID-19.
However, in his latest report, Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee again reminded of the importance of persons coming forward to get tested as the number seems to have fallen off recently as the territory reopens.
“The testing numbers have dropped a little, especially over the last week,” he reported while encouraging persons to come forward to take the test.
“We are continuing to call and ask people to come for testing but they are not necessarily inclined to come. I would please encourage you if you are called to please come forward for testing.”
In explaining the need to continue with the screening programme, the CMO said, “It’s really important that we continue to screen the population to make sure there’s been no outbreaks that we could potentially put a stop to, so I would appreciate your consideration of that.”
Over 24,000 COVID screening tests have been carried out in Cayman to date.
NO NEW CASES
A trend of recent low positive cases continues.
For another day on Friday there were no confirmations of COVID-19 cases in the latest batch of 316 tests.
To date, 201 positive cases have been recorded.
Friday’s report showed there were no symptomatic cases found in the last results while six were asymptomatic. 194 persons have recovered.
Dr Lee also reported that 994 antibody tests have been carried, two-thirds at the HSA, with the others at Health City.
Of that number, 41 persons have tested as carrying the antibody against the coronavirus, of which 33 were known to have been positive when they did the PCR test - which is used to detect the virus.
Explaining this outcome of what was a selective sample, he said, “overall the rate of people who are antibody positive is “exceedingly low”.
According to Dr Lee, that suggests that "COVID might not be as rife as we might have thought amongst the population, a trend which is much in line with many other countries."