Thursday 2 April, 2020

Coronavirus: Curfew announced in battle to stop the spread

The Cayman Islands Government has announced a nightly curfew in its battle to stop the coronavirus spread.

And anyone who fails to comply will be arrested.

The curfew will take place from 9 pm to 5 am every night from tomorrow March 24 for 10 days until April 3. Supermarkets and all stores will have to close by 8 pm to give individuals an hour to return home. Essential workers that are required to be out until later will need to show company identification and a letter from their manager.

The curfew takes effect as of tomorrow (March 24).

“Anyone who fails to comply with the curfew will be subject to arrest without a warrant and a summary conviction will be liable to a fine of $3,000 or to imprisonment for up to one year or both,” said Governor Martyn Roper.

This is following confirmation of two new cases of coronavirus from Health City.

“There will be no use of excessive force,” assured Police Commissioner Derek Byrne, who will be reviewing the status of the curfew every 48 hours.

“At this moment there is no need for a state of emergency to be declared,” said Governor Roper at today’s government press briefing. According to governor, “We are a long way” from this stage. This might occur if there was a serious breach of law and order.

The following added coronavirus regulations will come into effect as of March 24.

The public gathering law has been reduced from 50 people to 10 people. This does not apply to the workplace. That said, the premier stressed: “We are encouraging all businesses to send home all non-essential personnel.”

This will result in the following changes:

  • Public transport will be stopped excluding taxi operators.
  • The new regulations that come into effect tomorrow will affect supermarkets, pharmacies and large stores that will be required to ensure that people stand six feet apart. All other establishments are subject to both the 6-foot distancing requirement as well as the 10-person public gathering regulation.

The premier referred that beach behaviour has been comparable to “some kind of spring break”. As a result, he stressed that if public congregates at the beach in groups more than ten, there could be potential arrests and could result in public beaches being closed.

If our measures succeed we will limit community spread,” said the premier, despite some inconvenience which will result in a relaxation of the regulations.

If it does not succeed, the premier has indicated that this will result in greater lockdown.

“We are not at a stage yet that we are shutting down Cayman completely.”

“We are in a much better place than I know of anyone else around,” said the premier.

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