(CMR) As the Cayman Islands reaches what the premier calls a “milestone worth celebrating”, testing some 9% of the population for COVID-19, there will be some significant loosening of the present shelter in place provisions which now include the ability to access the beach and fishing. The hard curfew on Sundays will now disappear entirely and some business will be allowed to re-open next week.
The beaches and shorelines remain closed until Tuesday, May 19th. However, this Sunday and holiday Monday daytime exercise will be permitted and the hard Sunday curfew disappears entirely. The nighttime curfew will not be changed and begins nightly at 8:00 pm until 5:00 am. Beach access going forward will be based on the existing alphabetical division.
There will be no beach or shore access on Sundays.
Strata complexes are now able to access their community pools and tennis courts but are subject to the social distancing requirements and limit of 2 persons per household.
The new shelter in place regulations will be allowed for beach access for exercise-related activities such as paddle boarding, snorkeling and kayaking. Fishing from the shoreline and boats will be permitted but limited to two persons on the boats. However, no beach access will be allowed for recreational purposes such as sunbathing, barbequing, jet skiing, or such. However, people will be permitted to take a swim for the purposes of obtaining exercise.
Leisure boating is also restricted and several water areas remain off access, in particular, Rum Point, Star Fish Point, the sand bar. There will be no inter-island fishing or traveling by boat. As of Tuesday, the daily exercise period will increase to two hours daily and persons will again be able to drive to get to exercise locations such as the beaches.
The revised regulations, which will be gazetted later today, will allow numerous businesses to re-open on Tuesday including car dealerships, hardware stores, pest control companies, garages, car wash businesses, construction, engineering, etc. The wearing of masks in public spaces will be now mandated by law with business owners having the ability to turn away customers who do not wear them.
The Director of Planning will be working closely with construction companies and organizing how their employees will be tested before getting permission to return to work. This will occur in several phases with larger construction projects being given the green light first and then eventually moving to single house dwelling construction sites. Employees with active projects who have employees that are required for those will be given preference first.
They will have to be deemed as COVID free before workers can return to their respective job sites and it is expected that extensive industry testing will be carried out during the next weeks. It is anticipated that some 3,200 construction workers will be tested in the coming two weeks with 40% of the construction population being tested by June 1. Public Health officials have the remit to be able to carry out on-site inspections without notice to ensure that social distancing, wearing of masks and adequate sanitation facilities are in place.
The premier mentioned that the transportation of employees should be done in a careful and safe manner.