(CMR) The Premier will be announcing some changes today to the Prevention, Control and Suppression of COVID-19 restrictions today including the lifting of mask-wearing in public places. Exclusive CMR sources that new regulations which were signed yesterday have a number of significant changes including allowing “public meetings” to now include 250 people.
These changes are expected to be discussed at this afternoon's press briefing at 2:00 p.m. The most significant changes appear to be section 5 of the regulations which addresses the wearing of masks and it states that when indoor at a public place a person “may cover his or her mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face covering but is not required to do so.” This change essentially confirms multiple rumors that were circulating from last week that the government was finally prepared to lift the now controversial mask-wearing requirement.
There will be no masks required in schools but school buses do fall under public transport!
This will be welcomed news for parents who had protested children wearing masks in schools which are slated to open next week. With the exception of specified facilities such as health care facilities, prisons, residential homes, airports, and other places “specified by notice by the Medical Officer of Health” this appears to apply across the board and includes pleasure/recreations facilities, concerts, parades, etc but not large churches. The operators of those facilities can still require masks and refuse entry if someone does not comply. However, the owner of a business cannot refuse entry to someone who decides to continue wearing a mask.
It is expected Dr. Lee will be issuing written guidance for the use of masks for children between the ages of 2-10 years old in the Gazette. The rental of scuba and snorkeling equipment is also now permitted by will be subject to very strict requirements by the Department of Environmental Health.
Persons can have 250 persons attend both funerals, sporting events and weddings. Section 8 prohibits the visitation of persons who are at a quarantine facility in isolation including if they are quarantining at home. Specific requirements are in place for a residential home care facility, prisons in Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac including pre-testing.
Operators of taxis are still required to wear masks but hookah, shisha pipes remain a prohibited activity. The regulations remain in force until September 30.