Cayman takes another step on the road back to normality from Sunday with further relaxation of the Level 3 lockdown measures which were introduced this past Monday June 1st.
The additional restrictions which were eased from Sunday, June 7th allowed for restaurants and bars to serve clients on the premises and will give greater scope and time for people to exercise.
“Sometimes I think the results may be a bit too encouraging in the sense that the pressure to go further faster continues to build and we are all very happy about the way things are going.”
Noting that there has been “some consternation” over some of the restrictions which will continue to be enforced on gatherings at bars and restaurants opening up on Sunday, he again stressed the public health necessity of having these measures in place.
With those businesses from Sunday able to provide an outdoors-only service to clients from Sunday, it throws the plight of the tourist industry into sharp focus.
The sector has been the hardest hit across the economy due to the pandemic.
Many of the restaurants and bars would normally be doing brisk business, teeming with a mixture of residents are visitors.
The Premier, while urging residents to frequent those establishments strongly suggests making reservations given the social distancing arrangements which will need to be followed.
That points to the considerations which would need to be assessed when tourism returns, especially stay-over and in-country ‘stay-cations’.
SUPPORT FOR UNEMPLOYED CAYMANIAN TOURISM WORKERS
For Caymanian tourism workers currently off the job, Premier Mclaughlin announced that the government has extended the safety net for them for another three months.
He reported that to date, more than 1,000 Caymanian tourism workers have applied for government assistance after losing their jobs.
The extended deadline to register expires at 11:59pm on Sunday June 7th. The previous deadline was May 31st.
Once registered and approved they will receive a payment of CI$1,000 per month for the next three months.
CAUTION URGED DESPITE TOP GLOBAL STANDING IN COMBATTING COVID
With COVID-19 still very evident in the community, the premier urges that it is vital that residents continue to take the necessary safety precautions.
According to Mr McLaughlin, the infection rate in Cayman is between 1.3% and 1.5% - about 975 people who are likely carriers of the virus.
While he says Cayman is a world leader in controlling the virus and the public is largely cooperating with the measures out in place, the Premier was nevertheless mindful of the risks which still exist.
“I would hazard to say now that Cayman is the most successful country in the world thus far with managing this pandemic,” he asserted before qualifying that with: “Obviously we have significant advantages with size, scale, and population allow us to do things that other countries find difficult in doing.”
He went on to say that “there is still significant amounts of the virus out there in the community and the only way we are going to avoid it being spread is to continue to be vigilant about social distancing and the wearing of masks, and avoiding too many people being too close to each other.
FOUR ADDITIONAL COVID CASES
Meanwhile, in giving his update on COVID-19 monitoring on Friday, Chief Medical Officer, Dr John Lee reported that the number of cases confirmed in Cayman has risen rose to 164 following another four positive results.
One was via an infected person and the other three who were asymptomatic were uncovered via the screening programme.
According to Dr Lee, 13,947 tests have been carried out so far with 694 reported on Friday.
Of the active cases, one is symptomatic and 69 are asymptomatic.
Ninety-three persons have recovered from the disease, 54 are under observation in government facilities and 220 under home isolation.
The two persons who were in prison isolation have now been declared negative.
MEASURES EFFECTIVE FROM 7th JUNE, 2020
From Sunday 7th June, 2020, hard curfew will be from 10 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. in Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac, restaurants and bars, will be able to serve customers on any patio or other outdoor area which forms a part of the premises of the bar or restaurant.
However, the following conditions will apply —
No more than six customers at a table, and unless these customers all come from the same household, social distance requirements must be observed;
(ii) each table must be at least eight feet apart; (iii) no person shall be seated or served at an indoor counter in a bar or restaurant; and
Restaurants and bars will be able to open for such services until 9 p.m. Therefore, persons who travel to restaurants or bars to collect their food or to dine outdoors now have until 10pm to return to their homes. The restaurants can continue with delivery of food until 11 pm which will be one hour later.
From 7th June, 2020, persons employed by businesses other than restaurants will be able to deliver until 11 p.m.
In relation to exercise - a person will be able on and after 7th June to exercise with five (5) other persons who are not members of the person’s household up for no more than 2 hours per day, between the hours of 4:45 am and 9 p.m. This includes engaging in open air non-contact sports.
Also persons will be able to exercise on a beach, swim in the sea and fish from the shoreline on any day. Persons must however continue to observe the social distance requirements when exercising.
On and after 7th June, 2020, in Grand Cayman, a person may use a boat between the hours of 4:45 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on any day only for the purpose of fishing in the waters, subject to the following conditions: no more than six persons shall be on a boat; no person shall travel for pleasure between the Islands to visit Cayman Brac or Little Cayman; and no more than six persons will be allowed on a boat.
The prohibition on boating activity in certain areas will continue. Thus, persons are still not permitted to congregate or have boats remain in Starfish Point, Rum Point, the Sandbar and Stingray City.
In Cayman Brac, on and after 7th June, 2020 a person may, on any day, continue to use a boat to travel for pleasure, including for fishing in the waters and will be permitted to have six persons on board at any one time.
The definition of “public meeting” will change in Grand Cayman and gatherings of up to six persons will be permitted.
In Cayman Brac there has been no change and twenty-five persons or less will continue to be able to take part in the said activities. The social distance requirements will continue to apply.
This does not relate to Little Cayman. However, social distance requirements and the wearing of masks indoors public places continues to apply to Little Cayman.