Severity: Critical Alert
Entry/Exit: Cayman Islands continue easing COVID-19 related restrictions on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac from June 1. Significant disruptions remain.
This alert affects Cayman Islands
This alert began 31 May 2020 12:51 GMT and is scheduled to expire 22 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Territorywide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Significant transport and business disruptions, increased security
Authorities in the Cayman Islands will continue to ease restrictions introduced to combat the spread of COVID-19 on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac from June 1. Construction, real estate, and retail businesses will resume operations provided they implement strict hygiene and social distancing measures. Additionally, the nightly hard curfew is reduced by 30 minutes to 2000-0430; during this time residents may not leave their homes unless the Commissioner of Police has exempted them. A soft curfew remains in place at all other times during which residents may stock up on essential goods and attend other authorized business. Individuals may participate in up to two hours of exercise per day with up to one other person 0515-1900.
Authorities intend to ease additional restrictions from June 7. Hard curfew hours will be further reduced to 2200-0430 and restaurants and bars will be permitted to reopen outdoor areas for service (this was already permitted on Cayman Brac). Public gatherings of up to six people from different households will be permitted on Grand Cayman, while on Cayman Brac the limit on gatherings will remain at 25 individuals. Additionally, authorities will permit residents to visit the beach on any day for exercise or for shoreline fishing. Boats may be used for fishing in Grand Cayman, and for fishing or pleasure on Cayman Brac.
Social distancing measures ensuring people keep 6 feet (2 meters) apart remains mandatory for all businesses, establishments, and individuals in public areas, and all persons are required to use a protective mask in public. Officials will maintain the existing schedule for authorized shopping until at least June 22:
- Surnames beginning with A-K: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
- Surnames beginning with L-Z: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays
No curfew measures are in place in Little Cayman, though business and public institutions and facilities are required to restrict the number of persons inside so that individuals are able to maintain at least 2 meters (6 feet) from each other.
Additionally, all individuals arriving on the islands will be subject to health screenings and quarantine protocols. All international commercial passenger flights remain suspended at Owen Roberts International Airport (GCM) and Charles Kirkconnell International Airport (CYB) until at least the end of August. Officials have also banned cruises and private vessels from entering the Cayman Islands until the end of August. Evacuation and cargo flights, air couriers, air ambulance services, and cargo ships continue to operate. Fishing vessels will not be allowed into the Cayman Islands, and the crews of fishing vessels that had departed before officials imposed the current restrictions will need to quarantine on board their vessels for 14 days upon their return.
Severe business and transport disruptions are likely to continue even with the easing of some restrictions. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.
Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the officials in the Cayman Islands correspond with similar actions taken by other regional governments in recent days in response to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. Officials in the Cayman Islands began gradually relaxing internal restrictions May 4 to allow some economic recovery. Should the number of COVID-19 cases significantly increase, officials may reapply the relaxed restrictions. Likewise, a continued low number of cases may result in further relaxation of restrictions.
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in the areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.