(CMR) Premier Alden McLaughlin shared his utter shock and dismay over the local companies who appeared ready to “risk the lives of their workers” and were seeking to be considered essential services thereby being exempt from the curfew. He indicated that he received various requests from businesses that wanted to be classified as essential businesses.
The premier warned that if the country is unsuccessful in this regard a 24/7 curfew is a very likely possibility and the businesses and the country as a whole just needed to make the necessary sacrifice at this time to avoid long term consequences.
These concerns were highlighted during his late afternoon press briefing when he expressed how shocking and frustrating it was. He made it very clear that he was not prepared to risk the lives of the people in this country. When asked what types of businesses were seeking this exemption he shared that it included all sorts of businesses from fishermen to financial services. He noted:
“Everyone seems to think their business is an essential service … and that this is business as usual.”
He noted that generally speaking “there was a lack of acceptance that we are in dangerous times and have to take radical actions.”
Minister of Health, Dwayne Seymour indicated that Cayman is under a serious threat of potentially losing some 800 lives if this outbreak is not immediately contained. These figures are based on overall estimated from all over the world.
Designated essential workers include grocery stores, utilities, and emergency services. A more comprehensive list will be provided tomorrow. The curfew does not allow those persons to be open during those hours. Instead, they are permitted to allow staff to work during those hours so that they can take care of essential work within the business so that they can operate during normal business hours.
Outside of emergency and essential services, other persons are not permitted to be on the road during the curfew hours and will be subject to arrest. The police have indicated they are taking the matter very seriously and will utilize the full force of the law.