New regulations: What’s allowed and not allowed

Cayman's public beaches and ironshore will be reopened to the public from Tuesday under revised shelter-in-place regulations. The beaches will remain closed on Sundays, however. - Photo: Taneos Ramsay

The government has announced the easing of shelter-in-place and hard-curfew restrictions and newly amended regulations will come into effect today (Tuesday, 19 May), and will remain in place until 2 June, at which point they will be reviewed. Here’s a quick reference guide to what the regulations say in regard to the new rules on the wearing of masks, access to the beach and water activities, exercise, and where you can drive to and when.

MASKS

When and where am I required to wear a mask?
As of today (Tuesday, 19 May), everyone at an indoor public place, where social distancing of six feet or more cannot be maintained, is required to cover their mouth and nose with a mask or cloth face covering.

I have asthma. Do I have to wear a mask?
Under the revised regulations, people with certain medical conditions are exempted from wearing masks, and they do not have to provide documentation proving they have that condition. Health officials are expected to release guidelines on what medical conditions are included in this exemption this week.

What if I just don’t want to wear a mask?
Masks can help you avoid getting COVID-19 and can also prevent you spreading it if you have the virus and don’t know it yet, so it’s not just about protecting yourself, it’s about protecting others as well. But if you’re determined not to wear one, bear in mind that the revised regulations state that the owner or operator of a public place can refuse to allow anyone inside their premises if that person isn’t wearing a mask.

Do I have to put a mask on my baby?
No. The requirement to wear a mask does not apply to children under the age of 2.

Do I have to wear a mask at work?
If you’re just at your desk in an office, “sitting or eating, without talking”, you are not required to wear a mask, the regulations state. However, if your work involves interacting with the public, when a distance of six feet cannot be enforced or maintained, you must wear a mask.

I take the bus to work. Do I need to wear a mask?
Yes, you have to wear a mask on a public bus, as does the bus driver. If you’re standing inside a semi-enclosed bus stop with other people, you are also required to wear a mask. Passengers and drivers of taxis must also wear masks.

BEACH ACCESS AND WATER ACTIVITIES

Can I go to the beach?
Yes. The beaches are now open every day, from 5:15am to 7pm, except on Sundays. But you can only go there for the purpose of exercise. You can’t sunbathe, build sandcastles, or hold parties, picnics or barbecues on the beach. You are allowed to run, walk, swim, snorkel, paddleboard or kayak. There is a caveat though – you can only go to the beach or into the sea on your ‘letter day’. So, if your surname begins with a letter from A-K, you can go on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; and if it begins L-Z, you can go on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays. If you have a double-barrelled surname, the first name of the surname applies. No one gets to go to the beach on a Sunday, regardless of your surname.

Can I drive to the beach?
Yes, you can drive to the beach or the sea; however, the ‘letter day’ rules apply. You can also drive to other places you want to exercise on any day of the week, so long as it’s not the beach.

Can I fish?
You are allowed to fish from shore, including from ironshore, and from a boat every day except Sunday. You may fish from the shore on your own, with other people you live with, or with one other person who is not from your household if social distancing is maintained. When fishing from a boat, a maximum of two people are allowed to be on board the same vessel together. No other boating activities are allowed. Fishing is allowed between the hours of 5:15am and 7pm. You can fish from a public beach any day of the week, apart from Sunday.

Can I go visit the stingrays?
No. The Stingray Sandbar is out of bounds. You are also not allowed to travel by boat to Starfish Point and Rum Point or hang out on the beach in those areas, even for the purpose of swimming or other exercise.

Can I take my boat to Cayman Brac?
Travel by boat between the Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands is still prohibited.

Can I take my boat and go meet my friend on his boat and hang out together?
No, all congregations and gatherings remain banned, including on boats. The only activity involving boats which is allowed is fishing.

Can I go diving?
No, scuba diving is still prohibited.

Can I ride my Jet Ski?
No, you are not allowed to operate Jet Skis or WaveRunners in the water.

What if I break these rules?
Then you’re liable, upon conviction, of a fine of $1,000 and imprisonment for six months.

EXERCISE

How long can I exercise for each day?
Under the new rules, exercise time has been extended by half an hour, so you can exercise for up to two hours a day now, between the hours of 5:15am and 7pm.

What kind of exercise is allowed?
You can exercise outside – walking, running, jogging, skipping, etc. – on any day of the week, but can only go to the beach to do those activities on your letter day. If you want to go swimming in the sea, you can also only go on your letter day. You can also drive to the beach or the sea for exercise on your letter day, and can drive to do exercise anywhere else on any day. Public and strata gyms remain closed.

Can I swim in my strata pool?
From today, stratas are allowed to reopen their pools but the number of people allowed to use them at any one time is restricted by social-distancing requirements. According to the regulations, you can only be in the pool together with other people who reside within the same household; or with one other person who is not in your household.

Can I play tennis?
Private and strata tennis courts can reopen from today. You can play tennis with one other person, who does not have to be in the same household as you.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Are the buses back?
Yes, Cayman’s public buses will be back on the roads from this week. Some new restrictions apply, though. Each bus can only carry half its passenger capacity so that social distancing can observed. Everyone on the bus – driver included – will be required to wear a mask.

What about taxis?
Taxis have been allowed to operate over the past few weeks, but again, only if they could ensure that passengers were sitting six feet apart. From this week, anyone travelling in a taxi will also be required to wear a mask.

*Note: This article has been amended to reflect that fishing from shore or a boat is allowed on any day of the week, except Sundays.

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