MORE EASING OF LOCKDOWN RESTRICTIONS FROM NEXT WEEK
Cayman continues to take cautious steps towards the next level of opening up the economy.
The government had announced that it’s now working towards a target date of June 22nd with a series of graduated relaxations leading up to that date.
Over 21 days starting from Monday June 1st, a two-phase easing of the current Level 3 Moderate Suppression restrictions will be put in place.
The first phase will run from June 1st to June 7th, with the second from June 2nd to June 22nd.
It is hoped that by that date enough progress will have been made to move to Level 2 (Mild or Low Suppression) stage.
Once Level 2 - Minimal Suppression is attained the ultimate goal is the All Clear although it’s not clear when that might be reached.
The current measures will remain in place across this weekend.
From Monday June 1st, construction, retail and real estate business as well as restaurants serving outdoors will be back in operation but will be required to comply with existing COVID-19 safety protocols.
Some exercise restrictions are also being lifted although there’s a limit on the number of people allowed to participate. Contact sports are still disallowed.
Premier McLaughlin said this marks a significant step in the process of re-opening up the economy.
Mr McLaughlin spoke of “the promise of a soon-coming day” when life in Cayman can move back to normal” following the economic and social disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in Cayman.
He outlined what he referred to as “an expansion of allowed activities within the current moderate suppression phase (Level 3) which will allow for more outdoor recreational opportunities, limited gathering with friends and loved ones in public places, and carefully managed economic activities such as outdoor dining and other businesses.”
He said these further easing of restrictions “will carefully help our country reunite and get back to work.”
“Our private homes have been and should continue to be the safest place for us to be so gatherings in or visits to other households are still not permitted,” he said.
On what he referred to a theme of “hope and promise”, Premier McLaughlin the fact that Cayman had completed 11,000 tests was a significant achievement for which he praised residents.
Premier McLaughlin said the goal is to test 25% of the population over the coming weeks as part of the goal of working towards the Level 2 Mild Suppression stage.
So far about 15% of the population has been tested.
With the construction industry due to be fully back at work from Monday, 15% of the 8,000 workforce of that sector have already been tested.
“We cannot yet become complacent, the virus is still among us,” he said.
Only one additional case was confirmed on Friday taking the total to 141.
Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee updated that 673 tests had been done over the past day - 496 by the HSA and 177 by Doctor’s Hospital.
Mr McLaughlin said the medical advice is that the situation remained very risky, especially regarding parties, adding that in order to remove some of the hard curfew restrictions in particular, the risk would need to be very low.
His Excellency Governor Martyn Roper called the upcoming lifting of some of the restrictions “a significant moment” and “very sensible and measured.”
THE CHANGES IN DETAIL
CHANGES TO TAKE EFFECT ON 1st JUNE, 2020
From Monday 1st June, 2020, all construction businesses may fully operate, subject to any conditions which may be imposed by the Competent Authority and persons observing the social distance requirements.
All retail and real estate businesses will be able to fully operate and must all observe the social distance requirements and enforce the wearing of masks by customers.
Persons will be able to exercise in any public place including Government walking tracks. Also, persons will be able to engage in open air non-contact sports, such as tennis and golfing, but no more than two at any time may engage in such sport and this will be subject to any conditions which may be imposed by the Competent Authority as well as persons observing the social distance requirements.
Persons will be able to travel to convenience stores, minimarts or gas or refilling stations on a Sunday. However, the surname restrictions will not apply to these Sunday visits.
It should be noted that in Grand Cayman notwithstanding the gradual opening of more businesses, those businesses which are not exempted or specified in the regulations shall remain closed. However, where possible, their staff can continue to work remotely from home.
Travel between the Islands continues to be subject to the same restrictions as before.
There is however a minor change in that persons who provide security services between the Islands will now be classified as providing essential services for the purpose of travel between the Islands.
CHANGES TO TAKE EFFECT ON 7th JUNE, 2020
From Sunday 7th June, 2020, hard curfew will be from 10 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.
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 which has no such restrictions.
However, social distance requirements and the wearing of masks indoors public places continues to apply to Little Cayman.
From 7th June, 2020, 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.