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Community 20 Mar, 2020 Follow News

Premier of the Cayman Islands, Alden McLaughlin

Premier of the Cayman Islands, Alden McLaughlin has lamented what he sees as irresponsible behaviour by some people despite the seriousness of the COVID-19 crisis globally and the implications for Cayman.

Elaborating on intensified arrangements being out in place to safeguard the territory, Premier McLaughlin drew attention to returning residents who are now required to self-isolate for an initial 14 days.

He said this not only applies to students but else.

It’s in the second group that he is concerned about what amounts to a lackadaisical attitude by some people.

“We are doing everything we can to provide the opportunity for those who are arriving on these flights to self-isolate. And let’s hope that every single one of those returning residents, not just the students, does follow the protocols that we set out. Does behave responsibly.”

But he noted that “there are thousands more who would have travelled over the course of the last 14 days and are not adhering to the safeguards.

“Many of those people are not self-isolating, are not behaving responsibly, are not locking down their entire households because one member has travelled.”

Premier McLaughlin warned that “all of these things create real risks to the broader community.”

He urged residents “not to treat those returning as pariahs while we forget and forgive what I know to be irresponsible conduct among many in this community who have concluded that they don’t have the virus so they can go back to work and they can hang out and do whatever they want to do.”

In condemning that type of conduct, McLaughlin confirmed that he has witnessed such behaviour himself.

“I see some of these people with my own eyes, not just the evidence that’s been sent to me on a daily basis.”

The Premier urged that “if we are to contain this, we have got to start taking the protocols very, very seriously.”

“We all have to take responsibility for the well-bring of ourselves, our family and the community, especially when it’s something like a heath threat makes it even more critical that people pay attention.”

At the same time though, Mr McLaughlin was full of praise for those people who are practicing the protocols and following the official advisories.

“By and large I think people are,” he observed. “I’ve noticed the social-distancing, I think it’s becoming common practice.”

Mr McLaughlin said he was particularly pleased with some new creative trends in social interaction.

“I smile to myself on a number of occasions this past week when I see young people greeting each other with the elbow bump. It looks like some of the messaging is getting through,” he chuckled.

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