Supermarkets can open between 6am and 6pm but must enforce social distancing.
Supermarkets can open between 6am and 6pm but must enforce social distancing. - Photo: Stephen Clarke

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Healthcare facilities, supermarkets, mini-marts, pharmacies, banks and gas stations are the only named businesses allowed to open during daylight hours under new regulations to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Premier Alden McLaughlin announced a package of measures on Friday, which he described as the ‘Stay Home Cayman’ survival plan.

Later on Friday, government published a list of Public Health (Prevention, Control and Suppression of COVID-19) Regulations which give police the legal mandate to begin enforcing the conditions of that plan.

Those regulations outline the essential businesses that will be allowed to open, as well as the key personnel that will be allowed freedom of movement during what the premier called a “soft curfew” to allow more normal living conditions in the day time.

Stores on the exempt list will be allowed to open between 6am and 6pm. Banks will be allowed to open between 9am and 1pm. 

There are no restrictions on hours of operation for healthcare facilities.

All stores must ensure social distancing of six feet and no more than six customers are allowed in a mini-mart at any one time.

Any businesses not listed in the law can apply to the ‘competent authority’ – in this case the Ministry of International Trade – through the email address [email protected].

Liquor stores are not expressly listed in the legislation but the premier suggested at the Friday press briefing that they would be allowed to open until 6pm.

The regulations also create scope for weddings and funerals to take place with no more than 10 guests. Private parties are banned.

Individuals must remain in their homes unless they are going out to one of the exempt businesses or to exercise.

“A person may engage in outdoor exercise, whether alone or together with a family member living at the same residence, for no more than an hour and a half each day between the hours of 6:00 am and 6:00 pm, provided that the person maintains a distance of at least six feet or two metres from another person,” the regulations state.

Outside of those purposes, anyone who is on the road is liable to be questioned by police and ordered to return home or face arrest. Breach of the law carries a penalty of a $1,000 fine or six months jail time. The law includes similar penalties for people who breach social distance limits of six feet in a public place.

The regulations are in place for 10 days from Saturday, unless they are extended, the document indicates.

All public service workers, unless designated as essential workers, are required to work remotely from home.

Emergency services, sanitation workers, essential utilities staff, security workers and emergency vets are among a long list of essential workers who are exempt from the conditions for work purposes.

A ‘hard curfew’ will remain in place for the hours of 7pm to 5am, during which time no businesses will be open and only designated essential workers have permission to be on the road.

Full coverage: Coronavirus

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