LIVE: For the latest updates on the coronavirus, follow our live blog.
The streets of densely occupied communities, such as Windsor Park, Prospect and Washington Boulevard, were largely empty Thursday as Cayman settled into the reality of a 24-hour curfew.
Windows and doors of most homes were closed; the only tell-tale signs of life came from the occasional barking of pet dogs, the cackling of domestic fowls, and the steady hum of air-conditioning units.
“Most people are taking it seriously,” said Michael Williams, a Windsor Park resident who agreed to do an interview from the confines of his yard. “I think the curfew is a good idea, and if we all just listen to what the premier is saying, we could get through this together.”
Williams’ sentiments were echoed by Adolphus Bushea, who lives two streets over.
“I know a lot of people would like to be at work, making money for themselves and their family,” said Bushea, while sitting in the shade of his veranda. “But, for the safety of everyone, we should all be kind to each other.”
The round-the-clock curfew came into effect at 7pm Wednesday and is expected to last until 5am, Saturday, 28 March.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Premier Alden McLaughlin thanked the public for its cooperation. He said he understood the inconvenience brought by the curfew, but it was in place to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
“Never lose sight of what we are actually trying to do, which is to limit the opportunity for the virus to acquire a new host,” said McLaughlin. “That’s what the virus wants to do; it’s always looking for another host so it can continue moving through the community.”
George Town Community Development Officer Dorline Welcome, who has oversight of several neighbourhoods, said she has not received any negative feedback or heard any reasons for concern.
“Most people seemed to have been prepared,” said Welcome. “The general expression by many is that we all just need to cooperate with the government’s instructions and stay safe. They are able to get the information they need, and so most people understand and are willingly cooperating.”
Full coverage: Coronavirus