Sat | Mar 28, 2020

Cayman Islands under 24-hour curfew until Saturday due to COVID

Published:Thursday | March 26, 2020 | 9:34 AM
Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin - Contributed photo

A 24-hour curfew has been imposed in the Cayman Islands as the country fights COVID-19.

The restriction started at 7: 00 p.m. Wednesday night and will run until 5:00 a.m.

In making the announcement,  Premier Alden McLaughlin said the government had been forced to take drastic action because it had been unable to get co-operation from the business community for an order to shut down non-essential businesses.

He said there had been requests for more than 850 exemptions, totalling more than 20,000 workers, and it was therefore impossible to put more measured constraints in place.

Government leaders will continue efforts to put a more flexible order in place by this Saturday, he said.

Supermarkets and pharmacies will also be shut during the 24-hour curfew over the next three days, though staff will be allowed some flexibility to stock up and take deliveries.

Emergency services and other essential services will be allowed to operate on an emergency basis but no businesses will be able to open.

“We know this is a really radical measure but anyone who is paying attention to what is happening in the rest of the world must understand if we get widespread community transmission of this virus, it is going to have devastating consequences,” McLaughlin said.

He said the closure of the borders from last Sunday meant there could be no new introduction of the virus to the islands after that date.

Within the next two weeks, he said it would be very clear where Cayman stood in terms of the influx of coronavirus through the community.

Assuming more flexible provisions can be worked out in that time, Cayman will then revert back to the nightly curfew of 7:00 p.m. to 5: 00 a.m, which was initially put in place from Tuesday night to last 10 days.

Meanwhile Cayman has three new cases of coronavirus including one case that was initially declared as negative after preliminary tests in the territory.

In total Cayman now has eight positive cases and one suspected positive case.

Source: The Cayman Compass

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