Saturday 31 October, 2020

Cayman: Breaching home quarantine may land you in prison for 6 months

Government has published two sets of public health regulations aimed to facilitate the phased reopening of borders beginning on October 1.

Under these regulations, it is an offence for persons quarantined at home to permit another person to visit them. Exceptions include the Minister of Health (MOH) and persons with written permission from the MOH. 

The changes took effect this evening on the same day as the arrival of a British Airways flight from which 29 passengers from 12 households have been selected to take part in a test of what is being called the quarantine in residence programme.

This programme is expected to be more broadly utilised in October during the first phase of the border reopening process.

All participating travellers went home to an empty isolation accommodation. None have household members on-Island isolating with them.

A multi-agency public sector team has been working for several weeks to develop a safe and effective quarantine process that is reinforced by monitoring technology, and other safeguards such as regular check-ins. Officials say their objective has been to create a multi-layered process that offers as much protection as is possible to the wider Cayman Islands community.

The laws outlining the changes are as follows:

The Control of Covid-19 (No.2) Regulations, 2020 facilitate the potential for travellers to quarantine at home, under the direction of the Medical Officer of Health (MOH).

Gazetted simultaneously, the Prevention, Control and Suppression of Covid-19 (Partial Lifting of Restrictions) (No.4) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 clarify the requirements for home quarantine and how these will be enforced.

Under the new laws, no one except the minister of health, those who have been granted approval by the MOH and food, grocery and medication delivery services are permitted. Delivery persons may not enter any premises where persons are quarantined or have contact with the residents.

The regulations also stipulate that in multi-dwelling premises, such as a condominiums or apartment buildings, these restrictions do not apply beyond the residence in which persons are quarantined.

Persons found to have committed an offence against the regulations will face a fine of $1,000 and imprisonment for six months.

The revisions to the public health regulations followed Cabinet approval of the team’s pre-launch testing proposals. Copies are available at the bottom of the Legislation Gazette Supplement page on the Cayman Islands Gazette website

A bill to increase penalties for breaches of these regulations is set to be considered at the upcoming meeting of the Legislative Assembly.

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