In his toughest reprimand yet, Hon. Premier Alden McLaughlin has severely chastised persons who persist in flaunting the conditions set down in the curfew that Cayman is currently under.
The territory has been placed in alternating hard nighttime curfew and soft daytime restrictions as part of intensified global efforts to halt the spread of the highly infectious and deadly coronavirus COVID-19.
A Shelter-in-Place/Stay Home Cayman drive is now in place.
Speaking at the end of the first three-day 24/7 lockdown, Premier McLaughlin praised those who have been cooperating but did not mince words for the violators.
The government had enforced a full lockdown after a number of violations of the overnight curfew, safe-distancing and a flood of requests by businesses seeking to be classified as essential services - in many cases for all of their employees and not just key staff.
“It is clear to us that we are going to have to have very different kinds of behaviours than we are used to, for quite some time than we are used to until this crisis ends,” Premier McLaughlin said.
And he issued this warning: “If we don’t get the cooperation of the public, unfortunately, as happens far too often, the innocent will have to suffer with the guilty.”
Crowds at the beaches, people driving around aimlessly, out and about without adequate reason, and not keeping the safe distance advice have been some of the challenges faced by police, despite the public in most cases adhering to the protocols.
In his overview of the current situation, he noted that in order for soft (daytime 5am to 7pm) curfew to work, the Premier said “all must practice common sense.”
Contrasting developments on Saturday with the previous days where he said he was happy with the response of the public, Mr McLaughlin expressed concern about the long queues at supermarkets where social-distancing was not being observed.
He said that system might need to be reviewed.
There are also concerns about some people flocking to the beaches.
“Moving about freely is a significant abuse of the privilege to move around granted by the soft curfew provisions. Hundreds sunbathing is not the plan and is not going to work.”
Mr McClaughlin went to state that, “People need to understand that this irresponsible behaviour, this selfish behaviour quite frankly, means that you for the government to become more and more restrictive to get it to a position where we can actually enforce the rules.
“I appeal again for people to be reasonable, exercise common sense, and to follow the rules, otherwise you make life harder for all of the people around you,” he advised.
On the likelihood that the curfew could be further tightened of compliance is not improved, he said: “Let’s work through the next week and see where we get to.”
Of eight confirmed COVID-19 cases - with a possible ninth being reviewed - there’s been only been one death; a cruiseship passenger taken to Health City Cayman with a cardiac complaint who was subsequently found to have had the virus before he was disembarked here.
Another patient who went from Cayman to Honduras where he passed away, died of causes not linked to COVID-19.
“I don’t want one single one of my people, and I’m including those who reside here who are not Cayman nationals, to die of this disease in Cayman. That’s what we are aiming for,” Premier McMcLauglin said in appealing to the public to abide by the new 'Stay Home Cayman' initiative.
“Come on folks, let’s do this together,” he urged.