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Children’s playgrounds, galleries, tourist attractions and private strata pools are included in a long list of areas that are off-limits from Monday as Cayman prepares to shut down public life to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Government had already announced that bars, restaurants, public swimming pools, spas and salons would have to close. The full list of areas impacted was passed into law by order of Cabinet on Friday.

The ban comes into force at 11:59pm Sunday and will last for an initial 14-days. Anyone who breaches the restrictions could face a fine of $1,000 and up to six months in prison.

The aim of the regulations is to prevent people from gathering in large groups, potentially spreading COVID-19 throughout the community.

The restrictions cover bars, nightclubs, seated dining at any venue serving food or drink, sports group meetings, gyms, spas, public and strata swimming pools, cinemas, theaters, galleries, playgrounds, tourist attractions, beauty salons, barber shops and tattoo parlors.

Beaches are not impacted, though gathering in groups of 50 or more is banned, per an earlier government edict.

Cayman’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee, addressed the issue at a press briefing Friday, saying officials were urging people not to mix with each other.

“Don’t gather together in groups, whether it be a sports group or any sort of community group, don’t use your strata pool, please do not gather at any place where you might mix and share with other people … the only thing we really think that you ought to do is to go on a walk or a run on your own or in your family group.”

Retail, including books and clothing stores, are not included in the regulations and can operate as normal, though some shops were voluntarily restricting numbers as a precaution on Saturday.

On Saturday, the Cayman Islands Tourism Attraction Board (TAB) announced the temporary closure of its attractions.

It said the closure “is in strict adherence to the guidelines published in the Public Health (Control and Suppression of Covid-19) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 on Friday”.

The TAB has responsibility for managing the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park; the National Historic Site, Pedro St. James; the Cayman Craft Market and the Hell Geological Site.
Patrick Thompson, TAB Director, said in the statement, the attractions will be closed ”indefinitely.”

The Cayman Islands Turtle Centre had already announced it was shutting its doors to the public.

Full coverage: Coronavirus

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