Record numbers of people were caught in breach of curfew over the long Easter weekend as a ban on all activity on public beaches came into effect.
Police and government officials warned that too many people were still failing to follow the regulations and the ‘hard curfew’ measures, and said a slew of prosecutions are expected.
Police Commissioner Derek Byrne said 84 people had been warned for prosecution over the Easter weekend – meaning they will be charged for breaching curfew and will appear in court at a later date.
He said Easter Sunday was the worst day so far, for breaches of the hard curfew, with 50 people caught.
That takes the total number of people detected in violation of the laws since the measures began to 246 people. There are 138 files with the Director of Public Prosecution and prosecutors have, so far, ruled that charges will be brought in 24 cases with the rest under review.
Exactly how many of those cases have so far made it before the courts is unclear.
Cayman is currently operating under a fluctuating soft and hard curfew to contain the spread of the virus. The hard curfew, from 7pm to 5am and all day Sunday, means only essential workers can leave their homes.
Beaches are off-limits for everyone until Friday at least.
The soft curfew restricts movement during daylight hours while allowing people to visit the supermarket or pharmacy or to exercise. During soft curfew, anyone with the surname beginning A-K is allowed to go to the supermarket, bank or gas station on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The L-Z group is able to do the same on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Exceptions are made for 90 minutes of exercise, which is still allowed every day except Sunday, as well as for trips to the pharmacy or medical facility.
The possible penalties for breaches of the hard curfew, which encompasses the overnight and Sunday lockdown and the beach closure, are a $3,000 fine and up to a year in prison. Penalties for breaking the soft curfew are a $250 fine and potentially six months in prison.
All those measures are due to expire this weekend, but are expected to be renewed.