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Front Pages 11 Apr, 2020 12 Comments Follow News



Premier of the Cayman Islands, Hon. Alden McLaughlin, says he is “really, really worried” about the risks of an escalation in the spread of COVID-19 in the territory.

Mr McLaughlin expressed his concern as another eight positive cases were announced on Saturday, bringing the number of cases in Cayman to 53, the highest in the UK Caribbean Overseas Territories.

(There were 48 cases in Bermuda by Thursday).

The Premier declared that he was “quite worried” by what the statistics are suggesting about the presence of the virus in Cayman both in terms of the increase in cases, as well as about those persons still not complying with the restrictions.

He was particularly concerned that the cases now manifesting are locally transmitted which points to the extent of the virus in the community.

Speaking on Saturday Premier McLaughlin said the Government would immediately move to close the public beaches on Easter Monday to prevent an expected surge of holiday activity.

In making the announcement during Saturday’s live press conference, Premier McClaughlin declared, “Those are the things that really, really exacerbate the risk of contagion.”

He warned that “if we relax this now, within a month we are going to be worse than New York.”

The Premier was concerned that many people, based on police reports and other observations with the Easter weekend, are not adhering to the restrictions especially during the period of the soft curfew.

He announced that Government will move swiftly to enact changes to the existing regulations to include the closure of the public beaches on Easter Monday.

Mr McLaughlin said he was receiving reports even during the live press conference of people setting up “drinks coolers and partying on the beaches”.

The Premier said the concern about the community spread of the virus extended to some of those people who he suggested might themselves be asymptomatic carriers without they even realising it.

He was also particularly worried about what might develop in the next two weeks, the approximate time it takes for the virus to incubate and develop into a full-blown COVID-19 infection.

Premier McLaughlin repeated his warning to those persons who would act so irresponsibly, that they are not only putting themselves at risk, but their friends, family and the community.

The concerns voiced by Mr McLaughlin echoed the daily report of Police Commissioner Derek Byrne.

The Commissioner said his officers had come across several instances of people partying on the beaches, especially Seven Mile Beach, and doing so under the guise of exercising.

They were dispersed by police.

Commissioner Byrne said he was concerned that “people are still not taking the situation seriously enough, especially on the beaches.”

He said many were hanging around and assembling in groups larger than the two permitted under the soft curfew regulations with the allowance for ninety minutes of exercise daily.

In commenting on the concerning situation, His Excellency, Governor Martyn Roper, added his voice to the concerns expressed by the Premier.

In a direct appeal to those persons violating the regulations, he reminded of the importance of practicing social distancing saying; “we know the dangers around public human contact in this situation."

Hon. Minister of Health Dwayne Seymour, urged residents “don’t let all the hard work we’ve put in (to curb the spread of the virus) be eroded."

“If you think its hard now, what if we need to do this for two weeks?" he asked.

Mr Seymour said if the spread of the virus in the community intensifies, Government may have to consider harsher measures.

Comments (12)

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11 Apr, 2020

Why oh why are so many people still not listening? The more you stay home, the less chance this wicked virus has of spreading. Nobody is immune, this virus is not fussy, it jumps to anyone - rich, poor, every skin colour/nationality, weak, strong, fit, healthy., old, young. CI Government have worked tirelessly, so very hard, fast & strict to try & stop this taking hold in Cayman. We all need to listen, stop being selfish & abide by the rules, not just to protect ourselves but to protect everyone around us. Please everyone Stay home- Stay safe. ??

Jessie Medina

11 Apr, 2020

I agree with all that the Premier and the Govt has done to make our Islands safe from the spread of this virus. They have been doing a tremendous job but they need for everyone to do their part. Some people are obviously taking this virus for a joke until their irresponsible actions lead to many deaths. So before we get to that, I vote for a total lockdown of the beaches for a month or even longer if required. Also, reduce exercise days alphabetically to coincide with shopping days to keep people at home more and they can’t use every day as an excuse to be on the roads. I for one want my family and friends to be safe and make it through this Pandemic. I have a lot to live for and I want to see my first grandchild born and for all of us not to have to bury any of our loved ones. So I beg you all to stay home and listen to our Govt. Come on Cayman we can do this together. Stay home, stay safe and God bless.


11 Apr, 2020

Better to implement the 2 wks hard curfew but inform the public ahead of time to shop and within the 2 wks hard curfew of course they will do exemption for special cases with valid reason like person need to be admitted at the hospital. We need to try it so we can see if the positive case will goes down.


12 Apr, 2020

Please in force a 14 day lockdown in grand cayman ...some of your people need to go or listen x

Donna Rankine

12 Apr, 2020

Where are these increases coming from...ppl in the Community...that already has been tested positive...or from return Stufents/Residents ?


12 Apr, 2020

Charge then with attempted negligent homicide, because that is what they are doing.


12 Apr, 2020

These careless people do not respect social distancing they are taking this virus for a joke lock the beaches down no more exercising or walking dogs off their premises . If they wont listen then no more being nice to them let them out once a week for food shopping Meds or banking . They are acting like kids so treat them like kids.


12 Apr, 2020

If we’re locked down for 14 days 24/7 because of these inconsiderate fools then so be it.


12 Apr, 2020

When I tune in at 2 pm each day, I hear: helplessness, hopelessness and fear. The premier reminds us daily how much worse things are minute but minute, with his “gloom and doom” reports and prophecies of our demise.

My anxiety gets higher by the day, and the language used by the premier creates panic and fear.

The majority of us have been in solitary confinement in our homes for a month now, and there is no exit strategy or light at the end of the tunnel. We are given no hope and no light at the end of the tunnel. I’m very distraught, as I’m sure others are, and no reassurance is given that any of us will recover or survive this in the end.

Deal Ebanks

12 Apr, 2020

I am confused as what is condider a PUBLIC BEACH? IS ALL OUR BEACHES PUBLIC?

Delano samuels

12 Apr, 2020

let me first say that Cayman Goverments is doing a good job in trying to controll this virus from spreading an the another side many others take it for a joke .nevertheless to all CI Goverment stuff that is working to help our country "PLEASE" stand strong always don't give up for Our God in Heaven is able to carry you all throught but we the people also need to follow the rules that put in place which is not a joke . because our Island can not take anymore cases ,so i would agree with all that the Premier and the Govt has done to make our Islands safe from the spread of this virus. i believe the Goverment should make everyone to wear a mask and gloves anytime going on the road weather to the supmarket, to run or walk a pet . with a cost of $100 ci founded without or two week in shut down also alphabetically we need to put it straight cross the board not just for shoping at supermarkets or bank .


13 Apr, 2020

Mr premier good job,we thankful u for being strict at this time...pls if these people never respect and obey the law it is right to impliment 2 weeks lockdown so tht they learn of their own and you never always please them.people always think of their own happiness sometimes they never learn of even the risk is on their way..they know how to excuse in times of soft curfew,,maybe if hard curfew implemented they might stop all excuses anyway..