Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Cayman Islands extend amended curfew measures from May 4 to curb spread of COVID-19. Some business restrictions to ease from May 4.

This alert affects Cayman Islands

This alert began 04 May 2020 09:35 GMT and is scheduled to expire 14 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Territorywide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Significant transport and business disruptions, increased security

Authorities in the Cayman Islands have extended their revised movement restrictions and curfew measures until further notice. The new measures, which are part of the territory's continued efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), will take effect May 4, and include the phased reopening of some businesses. A hard curfew will be enforced nightly 2000-0500, as well as for 24-hours on Sundays. Residents are not to leave their homes during these times unless the Commissioner of Police has exempted them. A soft curfew will be in place 0500-2000 Mondays-Saturdays, during which time residents will be allowed to stock up on essential goods and to attend to other authorized business. Officials will maintain the existing shopping schedule for essential goods until further notice:

  • Surnames beginning with A-K: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays
  • Surnames beginning with L-Z: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays

As of May 4, previously announced restrictions that will remain in place include a ban on all gatherings, the closure of all beaches, and the suspension of public transport. Restaurants will continue to be closed for sit-down services. Restrictions on some businesses and business operating hours will be relaxed beginning May 4. Businesses, establishments, and individuals in public are required to keep people 6 feet or 2 meters away from each other. Convenience stores and minimarts may have no more than six customers inside at any time. The following businesses and activities are permitted Monday-Saturday:

  • Restaurant and grocery store deliveries are permitted during daytime hours until 2200.
  • Supermarkets, convenience stores, minimarts, pharmacies, and fuel stations are permitted to operate during daytime hours until 1900.
  • Retail banks, building societies, and credit unions may operate 0900-1600.
  • Money remittance facilities and post offices may operate 0600-1900.
  • Persons are involved in the distribution or collection of school supplies may visit education facilities.
  • Restrictions will be relaxed for courier, pet grooming, car wash, tire repairs, pool maintenance, and gardening and ground maintenance services, under additional restrictive protocols.
  • Retail stores, car dealerships, and laundromats will be permitted to operate under additional restrictive protocols.
  • Residents are allowed to exercise outside their homes for up to 1.5 hours a day 0515-0700.

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 further notice. Officials have also banned cruises and private vessels from entering the Cayman Islands until at least May 16. Evacuation flights, 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. Authorities will likely keep an increased police presence deployed to enforce the curfew measures. 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 have likely taken the decision to gradually relax internal restrictions from May 4 to allow some economic recovery. The exact nature of the structure and proceedings of the phased reopenings have not been disclosed. 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.

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