(CMR) As Cayman tries to increase vaccination levels in a bid to get ready to reopen its borders by October, other countries around the region are considering implementing further restrictions as they continue to see an increase in COVID-19 cases.
Countries such as Jamaica which relaxed measures recently, are seeing an increase in cases. This has raised the question of whether any country can reopen without the possibility of an increase in cases.
However, a number of these countries have a slow uptake of the COVID-19 vaccines. Although Cayman has not yet reached its target of 80 percent vaccination, it is ranked number two in the region, with only Bonaire having more of its population vaccinated.
Jamaica, which has just over 6 percent of its population vaccinated, lifted a number of restrictions three weeks ago; this included opening its entertainment sector. However, since then, the country has seen a spike in cases and could reimplement some restrictions soon.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness said based on early signs, members of a COVID sub-committee of Cabinet were meeting this weekend to decide if measures should be tightened before August 10, when present measures are expected to expire.
“I want to reject the notion that opening up the economy and maintaining a low infection rate are not possible together. Both things can work together,” Holness said in Parliament last week.
He said indiscipline, complacency, and lack of following protocols are contributing to the spread of the virus.
The British Virgin Islands has also seen an increase in cases recently. According to the BVI Platinum News, the territory's only funeral home, Davis Funeral Home, is trying to keep up with the inflow of bodies due to an upsurge of the COVID-19 virus.
Caskets are being used up as soon as they arrive in the country.
On July 19, BVI, which had reopened to visitors, has implemented a number of COVID-19 measures. All fully vaccinated travelers are expected to quarantine until they receive a negative PCR test. Social gatherings have also been limited to 25.